Ugly Start, Pretty Ending: Astros Defeat Cardinals 4-3

USA TODAY Sports

Erik Bedard struggled out of the gates before turning in a quality start. The offense scored all of their runs in the fourth, and the bullpen locked down the final three innings.

If you turned off the game tonight after Erik Bedard's first two pitches resulted in a 2-0 deficit on the strength of a Matt Carpenter bunt single and a Yadier Molina home run, then you missed a good game.

Pitching

As ugly as things started out for Bedard, he finished with a pretty impressive night against a solid team. He worked around seven hits allowing three runs, while walking one and striking out six in six innings. He needed 96 pitches to get through his six innings, and threw 61 of them for strikes. His only blemishes on the night was a two-run home run to Yadier Molina, and a solo home run off the bat of Allen Craig in the fourth. The outing continued what has been a resurgence of sorts since Bedard was given his second chance in the rotation.

Josh Fields and Wesley Wright combined to throw a perfect seventh inning. Wright was used as a typical Loogy, and retired a hot Matt Carpenter via strikeout. Hopefully there's more of that where it came from as Wright has had a somewhat down year this season.

Jose Cisnero came in for the eighth inning and looked like a solid setup man. He gave up a walk, but also recorded two strikeouts to keep the Cardinals off the board and turn the game over to closer Jose Veras. Veras made things interesting as Jon Jay got things started with a one out single, and Matt Adams followed with a walk. Veras then straightened things out and retired the next two batters via strikeout and fly out.

Offense

Like the pitching, the Astros offense got off to a slow start as well being held hitless through the first three innings. The fourth inning was a different story though as the Astros rallied for a four spot against Lance Lynn. Jose Altuve got things started with a single followed by a Jason Castro single of his own. Chris Carter followed with a walk to load the bases for Carlos Pena. Pena walked to score the Astros first run. J.D. Martinez drove in the second run on a fielder's choice that plated Castro. Brett Wallace followed with a single to score Carter. Brandon Barnes put the finishing touches on the night with an RBI single to score Wallace. Just like that, the Astros had a 4-3 lead.

No Astro had multiple hits tonight. In fact, the Astros only had five hits total, and only one of them went for extra bases (Chris Carter double). Altuve, Castro, Carter, Wallace, and Barnes all landed in the hit column while Castro, Carter, and Pena (2 walks) also touched base via walks.

Summary

What started out as a disaster ended with a W for Bedard and the Astros. The bullpen was impressive tonight as the combination of Fields, Wright, and Cisnero bridged the gap to closer Veras who made things interesting but locked things down in the ninth. The offense scored just enough to get the job done.

The Astros have an off day tomorrow before Norris takes on the Angels this Friday.

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