Texas (48-38) at Seattle (45-42)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Seattle, WA
Temp: 57° F
  • Game info: 4:10 pm EDT Sun Jul 12, 2009
  • TV: FSSW, FSNW
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Seattle Mariners are doing a much better job against the Texas Rangers now that Ichiro(notes) Suzuki is getting on base.

Suzuki will try to continue his success Sunday when the teams conclude their four-game set at Safeco Field.

Seattle (45-42) was 0-5 against Texas before this series, with Suzuki going 4 for 20 with no runs in those meetings.

The Mariners have won two of three in this latest meeting in part because their All-Star leadoff man has fared much better. Suzuki is 6 for 12 with two runs in those contests.

Seattle also received strong efforts from its starters in the two victories. Felix Hernandez(notes) allowed one run over eight innings of Thursday’s 3-1 win, and Jarrod Washburn(notes) gave up one run over seven innings Saturday in a 4-1 victory.

Texas (48-38) fell out of first place in the AL West with Saturday’s loss, dropping one-half game behind Los Angeles.

The Rangers haven’t gotten much from Josh Hamilton(notes) and Andruw Jones(notes), the No. 3 and No. 4 hitters in their lineup, during this series. Hamilton is 2 for 11 with no RBIs and Jones is hitless in 11 at-bats.

The Mariners will try to take further advantage of those woes with Erik Bedard(notes) (5-2, 2.58 ERA) making his second start after missing a month with left shoulder inflammation. He was on a pitch count of 75 on Tuesday and threw 72, allowing two runs over four innings of a 12-4 loss to Baltimore.

“My arm felt good,” Bedard said. “I’m ready to go.”

The left-hander has allowed two runs or less in his last seven outings. That streak started May 5 against the Rangers when he struck out seven and gave up one run in seven innings of a 7-2, 10-inning victory.

Bedard is 4-2 with a 3.12 ERA in 10 starts versus Texas.

Texas third baseman Michael Young(notes) is 5 for 26 with seven strikeouts against Bedard. That .192 average is his second-lowest versus any left-hander he has had at least 15 plate appearances against.

Young went 0 for 4 on Saturday after hitting .484 (15 for 31) in the Rangers’ first seven meetings with the Mariners this year.

Dustin Nippert(notes) (0-0, 7.36) will make his second start of the year for Texas. He spent the first three months of the season on the disabled list with a strained muscle in his right shoulder suffered in spring training.

“If Nippert is dealing, he’ll stay out there,” manager Ron Washington told the Rangers’ official Web site about Sunday’s game. “If we have to make moves, then we’ll make moves and get the people in there that we feel will fit the situation.”

The right-hander’s season debut came Tuesday against the Angels, and he allowed three runs over 3 2-3 innings in an 8-5 victory.

Nippert will be making his second career start against the Mariners and first at Safeco Field. He scattered seven hits over seven innings to outpitch Hernandez in a 1-0 victory Sept. 3.

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Starting Pitchers

D. Nippert Tex vs. E. Bedard LAD
5-3 Record 5-3
3.88 ERA 2.82
54 K 90
29 BB 34
1.33 WHIP 1.19

Scoreboard

Sunday, Jul 12