(SportsNetwork.com) - J.A. Happ looks to extend his excellent start to the season on Tuesday evening when the Seattle Mariners continue a three-game set with the Texas Rangers.
Happ has a career earned run average of 4.20, but has yielded just two earned runs in each of his first three starts of the campaign for a 1-1 record and 2.61 ERA.
The 32-year-old lefty lost a seven-inning outing versus Texas on April 17, but bounced back to beat Houston on Wednesday. Happ scattered eight hits over 7 1/3 innings without a walk.
"He's a veteran starter that knows what he's doing and gives us quality innings," Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said of Happ.
Happ is 1-2 with a 4.60 ERA in three games versus the Rangers.
Ross Detwiler has had the opposite impact so far on Texas and will make his first start tonight since an outing against Seattle on April 19. He has been charged with five earned runs in all three of his starts on the year, going 0-2 with a 10.95 ERA.
The southpaw picked up that no-decision in a wild 11-10 Seattle loss to Texas. He lasted just 2 1/3 innings in his first career meeting with the Mariners and struggled to keep the ball in the park, serving up solo homers to Austin Jackson and Nelson Cruz in the first inning prior to a three-run shot by Cruz in the third.
Detwiler will try to even up this set after the Mariners won Monday's opener 3-1 thanks to an outstanding outing from Taijuan Walker.
The Mariners halted a stretch of four losses in six games behind what was by far Walker's sharpest outing of the young season. The talented young right- hander scattered six hits and walked none while limiting Texas' struggling offense to one unearned run over seven innings.
Walker had been rocked for 15 runs and walked 10 in 12 2/3 innings over his previous three starts of 2015.
"Taijuan just stepped up big and really gave us a good start when we needed it," Mariners shortstop Brad Miller said.
Cruz and Seth Smith supported with RBI singles and Justin Ruggiano scored a pair of runs for Seattle, which made the most of its five hits to win the opener of a 10-game road trip.
The Rangers managed just one run on a throwing error by Miller on the same day they completed their trade with the Los Angeles Angels to acquire Josh Hamilton.
Hamilton won the 2010 AL MVP with Texas and led the Rangers to the first of back-to-back World Series appearances that season. The veteran outfielder left the Rangers for the Angels as a free agent in 2013, only to endure a pair of disappointing and injury-plagued seasons in Anaheim.
Hamilton, still recovering from offseason shoulder surgery, is expected to report to extended spring training Tuesday at the Rangers' complex in Arizona.
Rangers starter Yovani Gallardo allowed just three hits and struck out five over six innings in Monday's game, but was hurt by three walks that the Mariners turned into runs.
"You always want to put up zeros no matter what," Gallardo said. "We're not swinging the bat the way we are capable of right now but guys are going to hit. Look at that lineup, it is not an easy lineup to face."
The Rangers have lost four of five and still haven't won back-to-back games this season.
The M's took two of three from the Rangers in Seattle a few weeks ago.