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News » Mariners-White Sox Preview 2009-04-29

Mariners-White Sox Preview 2009-04-29

Mariners-White Sox Preview 2009-04-29
The Seattle Mariners appear to finally be getting the kind of return they expected when they invested in Erik Bedard prior to last season.

The left-hander looks for another strong outing while trying to help the Mariners win their three-game road series with the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday.

Bedard is healthy this year after undergoing shoulder surgery in July, which ended his first season in Seattle with a 6-4 record and 3.67 ERA in 15 starts. It was a disappointing result for the Mariners (13-8) after they traded five prospects to Baltimore for Bedard last February.

So far this season, Bedard (2-1, 2.08 ERA) has performed like the pitcher that totaled 28 wins in 2006 and '07. He allowed two earned runs and five hits while striking out six in 6 2-3 innings of an 8-3 road victory over Los Angeles on Friday.

"I think he is one of the top five lefties in the game," Angels outfielder Torii Hunter said of Bedard, who has 29 strikeouts in 26 innings. "Give him eight runs, put that in the bag. This guy's curveball was A-1."

Bedard is 3-2 with a 3.97 ERA in seven starts against Chicago, and will be making his first versus the White Sox as a member of the Mariners.

Though the teams split a doubleheader Tuesday, Chicago (10-10) was held to eight hits over both contests. Paul Konerko's two-run double was one of two hits for the White Sox in a 2-1 opening victory that lasted 1 hour, 52 minutes.

"That's a miracle," manager Ozzie Guillen said of his team winning without much offense.

Russell Branyan had a career-high five hits in the nightcap after going 0-for-3 in the first game, while Yuniesky Betancourt hit a three-run homer and Felix Hernandez shut down the White Sox in Seattle's 9-1 win.

Branyan is batting .358 (19-for-53) for the Mariners, who are 3-2 on a six-game road trip and have yet to lose a series away from home.

"I've never been given a shot to really play this game on an everyday basis," said Branyan, who's taken over as the starter at first base. "What is happening this year is a first go-around for me."

Betancourt had four hits and five RBIs in the second game. He's 3-for-7 with a homer and six RBIs against Gavin Floyd, Chicago's scheduled starter for Wednesday.

Floyd (2-2, 5.79) hopes to put his last outing behind him after allowing five earned runs, nine hits and five walks in 4 1-3 innings of a 14-0 loss to Toronto on Friday.

"He couldn't find the plate," Guillen told the White Sox's official Web site. "He has to go back next start and figure it out."

That might not be easy for the right-hander, who's 1-2 with a 9.88 ERA against the Mariners.

Two of Konerko's five career hits against Bedard are home runs. He went 3-for-7 with three RBIs overall Tuesday and is 7-for-15 with six RBIs during a four-game hitting streak.

Chicago's Jim Thome is expected to sit out again Wednesday after missing the doubleheader with a sore heel.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: April 29, 2009

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