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04/10/10 1:42 AM ET

Felix looks to solve struggles against Rangers

The Mariners can reasonably expect a strong start from right-hander Felix Hernandez on Saturday against the Rangers at the Ballpark in Arlington. The Rangers, however, aren't quite as sure what to expect from left-hander Matt Harrison.

After all, Hernandez is coming off a 2009 season in which he finished second in the balloting for the American League Cy Young Award, while Harrison will be making his first Major League start since June 23, 2009, after missing the final 14 weeks of the season with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome that required surgery on July 24.

Harrison, however, is confident that he's healthy and ready to go after striking out 18 batters and walking just five over 21 innings during Spring Training. Now it's just about calming his nerves in his first start in nearly a year.

"I'm sure I'll be excited," Harrison said. "I need to keep the nerves down and the adrenaline down so I can throw strikes. It will be fun to get back out there. It has been a long time coming. Hopefully I can pick up where I was before I had the arm problem."

Harrison will be looking to duplicate his last start against the Mariners when he threw a complete game on May 14, 2009, allowing just two runs on five hits to get the win.

And he also has the comfort of mind knowing that Hernandez has actually struggled a bit during his career against the Rangers. Hernandez's nine career losses against Texas are tied for the third most against the club by an active pitcher, trailing just Tim Wakefield's 15 and John Lackey's 12. Hernandez's nine losses are also the most for him against any team.

Hernandez is also coming off a start in which he was nearly unhittable -- he allowed just three singles over 6 2/3 innings on Opening Day against the A's -- but also issued six walks and was saddled with the no-decision after allowing three runs.

But Hernandez is still one of the top pitchers in baseball, and the Mariners will be counting on him to lead them to their first win since Opening Day after dropping four consecutive games, including their 6-2 loss to the Rangers on Friday.

Mariners: Johnson set to catch this weekend
Starting catcher Rob Johnson will return to the lineup on Saturday and Sunday after sitting out Friday's game in favor of rookie catcher Adam Moore. The club has been trying to get days off for Johnson because he had three offseason surgeries. Moore has started three games this season already but has yet to collect a hit, going 0-for-9. Johnson has started two games and is batting .200 (1-for-5) with his lone hit coming on a home run.

Rangers: Bats look to stay hot
Rangers hitters held a meeting before Friday's game against the Mariners to address their early-season offensive woes. The club entered the game with a .183 batting average. The team meeting, however, seemed to work as Texas broke out for six runs and 12 hits against Seattle on Friday.

Worth noting
Vladimir Guerrero is only the fifth player in the last 100 years to have at least 2,000 hits in his career and at least seven hits in his first three games with his new team. The others were Manny Ramirez (2008, Dodgers), Willie Wilson (1993, Cubs), Al Oliver (1984, Phillies) and Leon Goslin (1934, Tigers). Guerrero added two more hits on Friday and is batting .600 (9-for-15) this season. ... Mariners left-hander Cliff Lee threw 25 pain-free pitches in the bullpen before Friday's game against the Rangers and is expected to rejoin the rotation in early May. ... The Rangers went 11-8 against the Mariners last season and 7-3 against them at the Ballpark in Arlington.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.