Lee feels no pain in workout
Lefty throws 25 pitches in 'pen, on target for return in early May
ARLINGTON -- Cliff Lee threw 25 pain-free pitches in the bullpen before Friday's game against the Rangers, and he said he felt fine afterward as he trotted into the Mariners' clubhouse.
Lee, who opened the season on the 15-day disabled list with a strained lower abdominal muscle, is on target to return the first week of May.
"Awesome," Lee said of his bullpen session. "It was great."
Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu said Lee had no problems and that the left-hander feels like he can already pitch.
"The last thing we want to do is set him back," Wakamatsu said. "We'll massage it."
The plan going forward is for Lee to throw 45 pitches on Sunday here in Texas. He will take two days off, throw a bullpen Wednesday, then throw in a simulation game next Friday before the Mariners' home game against Detroit.
The hope is to have Lee throw another simulated game three of four days later -- he'll try to throw 55 pitches in both -- then send him out on a rehab assignment and get him up to 75 or 80 pitches before his first start for the Mariners.
Bedard taking some positive steps
ARLINGTON -- Erik Bedard is progressing well from left shoulder surgery that had him start the season on the 15-day disabled list.
The left-hander threw long-toss Friday and is ready for the next step. He will throw 45 pitches in a bullpen session Sunday.
Bedard, who is slightly behind Cliff Lee in his timetable to return, is expected to throw in some simulation games and also go out on a rehab assignment later this month.
Johnson to catch both weekend games
ARLINGTON -- Rookie catcher Adam Moore was back in the starting lineup for a second consecutive game Friday night as the Mariners try to take care of starter Rob Johnson.
Johnson, who had three offseason surgeries, will catch Felix Hernandez in Saturday's 12:10 p.m. PT start, and then could come back to catch Ian Snell for another day game on Sunday.
"We don't want to push Rob too much," manager Don Wakamatsu said.
Moore started his third game to Johnson's two, even though the latter is considered the starter.
Gutierrez shines on rough night
ARLINGTON -- Franklin Gutierrez made a spectacular catch and had another running grab in Friday's 6-2 loss to the Rangers. He also had one of the best approaches at the plate for the Mariners on a night when manager Don Wakamatsu thought his team's approach at the plate was lacking.
"Gutty had a great night," Wakamatsu said. "He was outstanding."
Gutierrez had a sliding catch in the third inning to take a hit away from Julio Borbon. He then made a running catch in the fifth.
Gutierrez also saw 12 pitches in his first three at-bats and had one of the Mariners' best at-bats in the later innings when singled in the seventh.
Todd Wills is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.