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Originally published May 25, 2011 at 3:49 PM | Page modified May 25, 2011 at 10:21 PM

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Mariners' Erik Bedard makes believers of Twins

Seattle left-hander Erik Bedard shut out the Twins for six innings, impressing Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire, before turning the game over to the Mariners bullpen.

Seattle Times staff reporter

Next five

Friday vs. N.Y. Yankees, 7:10 p.m., ROOT, Pineda (6-2, 2.16) vs. Burnett (5-3, 4.02)

Saturday vs. N.Y. Yankees, 7:10 p.m., ROOT, Hernandez (5-4, 3.01) vs. Nova (4-3, 4.29)

Sunday vs. N.Y. Yankees, 1:10 p.m., ROOT, Vargas (3-2, 3.86) vs. Sabathia (5-3, 3.17)

Monday vs. Baltimore, 1:10 p.m., ROOT, Fister (2-5, 3.18) vs. Arrieta (6-2, 4.57)

Tuesday vs. Baltimore, 7:10 p.m., ROOT, Bedard (3-4, 3.48) vs. Guthrie (2-6, 3.45)

quotes Erik has a nice pace on the mound, with good composure and control - shades of Cliff Lee. Read more
quotes If Bedard progresses he will command WAY more than 3 million anually... Read more
quotes I'm glad to see Bedard making a comeback after so many years with health issues. If he... Read more

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MINNEAPOLIS — Erik Bedard had no qualms about turning the ball over to David Pauley six innings into his latest scoreless outing.

Bedard has gone 15 consecutive innings without allowing a run, dating to May 8 against the Chicago White Sox. But he knew the one guy just as likely to put up zeros was none other than Pauley.

"It's easy to leave the game to him," Bedard said. "He just puts up zeroes. It's fun to have a guy like that in the bullpen. You can always rely on him and it makes it easier on everybody."

Pauley extended his own scoreless innings streak to 11 with two more frames in this one, lowering his earned-run average to 0.95. He's held opponents scoreless in 14 of 17 appearances.

As for Bedard, he improved to 3-4, lowered his ERA to 3.48 and drew a nice compliment from Twins manager Ron Gardenhire.

"There was a time when his fastball was probably 94-95 mph," Gardenhire said of Bedard's seasons prior to his elbow surgeries. "It's 92 mph now, but still very deceptive. He has a great breaking ball and a great change-up, and he doesn't miss his location very often. We've seen this young man for a long time, and he's had a lot of injuries, but when he's healthy — like he looked like he was today — he has some pretty good pitches. His breaking ball was snapping as hard as anybody's we've seen this year."

Hockey nuts

Mariners outfielder Michael Saunders was tucked into bed in his hotel room after Tuesday night's loss, hoping to catch his Vancouver Canucks on television. When he couldn't find the game anywhere, he tried following it via the game-tracker on his laptop, interrupted by constant text messages on his phone from Twins first baseman Justin Morneau, a fellow British Columbia native.

Morneau was in the Twins clubhouse watching on TV as the Canucks-Sharks semifinal headed into the first overtime period.

"He kept telling me to come down there and watch it with him," Saunders said.

Saunders finally told Morneau he would, but only if the game went to a second OT. When it did, Saunders got out of bed, dressed quickly and headed back to the ballpark a mile down the road where he was let into the home clubhouse to watch.

The game ended about five minutes after he got there, with the Canucks advancing to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1994.

Notes

Justin Smoak served as the designated hitter Wednesday, with his manager looking to give him a rest after he'd gone 7 for 34 (.208). He drew a walk his first time up, then went 0 for 3.

Brandon League retired the side 1-2-3 in the ninth on Wednesday. It was his fourth consecutive save without allowing a hit after a string of losses on the team's previous trip.

For the record: W-L: 24-25 W PCT: .490 Streak: W1 Home: 11-12 Road: 13-13 vs. AL West: 8-7 vs. L.A.: 2-0 vs. Oakland: 4-3 vs. Texas: 2-4 vs. AL East: 4-5 vs. AL Cent: 9-13 vs. NL: 3-0 vs. LHP: 7-9 vs. RHP: 17-16 Day: 5-9 Night: 19-16 One-run: 9-8 Extra inngs.: 1-3

Geoff Baker: 206-464-8286 or gbaker@seattletimes.com.

Read his daily blog at www.seattletimes.com/Mariners

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