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TEX@HOU: Bedard retires Moreland to close out the win

With first-start butterflies now gone, Mariners rookie Brandon Maurer takes the hill on Tuesday night at Safeco Field as Seattle square off against Houston Astros left-hander Erik Bedard, who will return to Safeco Field for the first time since he wore the home uniform there in 2011.

Maurer is the first to admit that he had a few jitters during his first start this season.

Making his Major League debut on Thursday against the A's after jumping from Double-A, the right-hander surrendered six runs on eight hits in six innings for the loss.

"I got the nerves out a little bit and definitely learned," Maurer said. "So I'm looking forward to going out there this time and building off my last start. I learned more about me than basically anything else. I need to go out there and have focus for every pitch. You can't take any pitches off and definitely want to be able to execute pitches."

Bedard signed with the Mariners prior to the 2008 season, going 15-14 with a 3.31 ERA before he was traded to the Red Sox on July 31, 2011.

Bedard will make his first start of the season for the Astros after tossing 3 1/3 scoreless innings in relief on Opening Night against the Rangers to pick up his first career save.

"It will be fun," Bedard said of his return. "I was here for a couple of years and had fun. They are good fans, good people and good teammates. I still have good friends on the team, and it will be fun."

Astros: Fields to DL; Clemens recalled
Houston placed right-hander Josh Fields on the 15-day disabled list Monday with a right forearm strain and recalled right-hander Paul Clemens from Triple-A Oklahoma City.

While Clemens has been a starter for much of his career, Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said the front office is split on whether his future is in the rotation or bullpen. He pitched in relief during Spring Training, striking out the side against Washington on March 7.

"That's one of the reasons he got the call and not [Jordan] Lyles," Luhnow said. "He's been able to do the relief thing very well in Spring Training, because he's got absolutely dominant, powerful stuff. This is an opportunity for him to come up while Fields is out and show us what he can do in a big league bullpen. It doesn't mean he won't go back to being a starter, but right now, given the role we need, he's the right guy and he deserves it."

Mariners: Morse returns to Safeco
Michael Morse was in the home dugout at Safeco Field on Monday for the first time since Seattle traded him to the Nationals in 2009.

"It goes a little deeper than just the game," said the 6-foot-5, 245-pound left fielder who returned to Seattle in a trade this past offseason. "When I first got a callup here in 2005, I was a young kid and this was the biggest stadium I'd ever been in. There were a lot of 'oohs' and 'ahhs' coming from me."

He finished Monday's game going 0-for-4 with a strikeout.

Worth noting
• The Mariners have not made a move with outfielder Casper Wells, who was designated for assignment on March 31. The team has until Wednesday to either trade, release or option him to the Minors if he clears waivers.

• The Astros have lost six straight since their Opening Night win.

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