orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

April 16, 2013

Bedard wild early, Astros lose to A's 11-2


Associated Press

OAKLAND, Calif. — Houston Astros pitcher Erik Bedard hardly sounded concerned after a dreadful outing Monday night.

Bedard has endured plenty of bumps in his major league career and expects to get past this one pretty easily, too. First, he'll have to find his command.

The left-hander walked four batters in the first inning and gave up six runs while getting only one out in the shortest start of his career, an 11-2 loss to the Oakland Athletics.

"It just didn't happen today," said Bedard, whose perfect ERA jumped to 7.04. "Bullpen was fine. (I) got out there and couldn't throw strikes. Just one of those games. It's happened before and it will happen again."

Bedard (0-1) had been sharp in his first two outings this season but walked Oakland's first three batters and then uncorked a one-out wild pitch that scored Crisp. After Josh Donaldson walked to load the bases again, Moss hit a two-run single to make it 3-0 and Freiman followed with his first home run in the majors, a towering three-run shot into the left-field seats.

After Bedard was pulled, reliever Paul Clemens pitched 5 1-3 scoreless innings. It was the longest relief outing by a Houston pitcher since Dave Borkowski went six innings against the Cubs on Aug. 15, 2006.

"He did a great job," Astros manager Bo Porter said. "There's the luxury of having those long guys down there in the bullpen so when you get a start like tonight you have guys down there that you can go to and extend the game for you."

Jed Lowrie drove in four runs and Tommy Milone won his third straight start for Oakland. Nate Freiman added a three-run homer and Brandon Moss had three RBIs for the A's, who benefited from eight walks overall.

Carlos Pena had two hits for the Astros, who have lost three straight following a three-game winning streak.

Milone (3-0) had a season-high six strikeouts and didn't walk a batter for the eighth time in his career. The left-hander, who won an Oakland rookie record 13 games in 2012, pitched out of jams in the fourth and sixth before leaving following Jose Altuve's one-out RBI single in the seventh.

Lowrie had two hits after struggling against Detroit last weekend. Coco Crisp doubled, walked twice and scored in his return to Oakland's lineup. Derek Norris scored three runs while Chris Young doubled and scored twice.

"We were able to put together big innings," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "You can't score eight, nine, 10 runs every game. Sometimes pitchers are going to have their day, but it's been across the board guys have been giving us good at-bats this year."

Milone retired 10 of his first 11 batters before the Astros scored in the fourth on Pena's RBI single.

Houston cut the lead to 6-2 on Altuve's hit in the seventh, but Oakland scored three runs in the bottom of the inning. Lowrie had a two-run single and scored on Moss' double.

Three A's relievers combined to blank the Astros over the final 2 1-3 innings.

NOTES: The Astros acquired minor league LHP Eric Berger from the Cleveland Indians for C Chris Wallace. ... RHP Brad Peacock, who lost to Oakland on April 5, starts for Houston on Tuesday. He'll oppose RHP A.J. Griffin, who won his first two starts and is 9-1 in 17 career starts.