(SportsNetwork.com) - Matt Harrison will make his first major league start in a over a year on Sunday afternoon as the Texas Rangers conclude a three-game series with the Seattle Mariners.
Texas' Opening Day starter last year, Harrison ended up making just two starts in 2013, the last on April 6, due to a herniated disc in his lower back. That cut short a campaign in which he was looking to build off an 18-win season from the previous year.
The 28-year-old left-hander went 1-0 with a 1.69 earned run average in three rehab starts with Double-A Frisco. His last outing on April 19 saw him hurl eight scoreless innings against Corpus Christi.
"It was a long road ... a lot of setbacks," Harrison said on Texas' website. "I went through a lot of pain with the surgeries. But getting back to this day (Sunday) is what motivated me. I just focused on getting back."
Harrison returns to a favorable matchup as he is 10-2 lifetime versus the Mariners with a 2.06 ERA in 18 games with 14 starts. He has been even better at Safeco Field in eight games, including six starts, gong 5-1 with a 0.99 ERA.
Right-hander Brandon Maurer makes his second start of the campaign as he attempts to fill a void in Seattle's injury-riddled rotation. His season debut came last Sunday and he threw four hitless innings before yielding a run and two hits while recording just one out in the fifth.
Maurer, 23, did not get a decision in the 3-2 loss to Miami and he is 1-1 in his career versus the Rangers with a 3.78 ERA in three games (2 starts).
The Mariners and Rangers will battle for a series victory after Texas notched a 6-3 win on Saturday. Five different Ranger batters drove in a run, while Leonys Martin had two hits and scored twice.
Aaron Poreda earned the win after surrendering just one hit with two strikeouts in two scoreless innings of relief. Starter Colby Lewis spun five- plus innings, giving up three runs on five hits with six strikeouts and three walks.
"I think he threw 10 or 13 pitches in two innings," Texas manager Ron Washington said of Poreda. "It helped us. It helped us tremendously that he gave us those two innings."
Texas has won four of five and nine of its last 11, while Seattle had a two- game win streak snapped.
Kyle Seager and Michael Saunders both stroked solo home runs for Seattle. Charlie Furbush was tagged with the loss after failing to record an out, while giving up a run in the eighth.
Starter Felix Hernandez got a no-decision after allowing three runs on five hits with three walks and four strikeouts in six innings.
"He just seemed to elevate some balls," Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon said of Hernandez. "He just proved that he's human. It happens."
Texas played again without outfielder Shin-Soo Choo, who has been out of action since Monday due to a sprained left ankle and could be headed to the disabled list.
Texas took three of four from the Mariners earlier in the year.