A new face to the Astros bullpen, Erik Bedard, didn't make his third relief appearance of the year a memorable one as he allowed three runs in the eighth inning, giving away a great outing by Paul Clemens.
The recently recalled Clemens has appeared in 30 games for the Astros this year, but had not made his first Major League start until tonight. He made it a memorable one by lasting six innings, allowing only one run on four hits.
Both clubs went quietly in the first three innings, but in the fourth the Astros got something started with two down. Jason Castro reached base again with a walk, and now has reached in every game in August that he's appeared in except for one (August 17 at Anaheim). Matt Dominguez followed with the ugliest of doubles as he thought he had fouled off the Jose Quintana offering.
Instead, the excuse me swing produced a looper down the right field line that spun towards the stands. With Castro moving on contact, he was able to score from first easily, while Dominguez barely made it into second safely because he had paused at home plate before running.
But the next batter, Jordan Danks, hit a ground ball hard and directly towards Astros first baseman Brett Wallace, who fired to shortstop Jonathan Villar at second for the second out before getting back to first base to receive Villar's return throw for the 3-6-3 double play to end the threat.
Robbie Grossman, who had already extended his hitting streak to 14 games in the first inning, added another single to start the sixth inning. The Astros' outfielder moved to second and third on back-to-back groundouts by L.J. Hoes and Jose Altuve, After another Castro walk (he's reached base in 11 of his last 14 plate appearances), Dominguez hit one a little sharper through the left side to score Grossman and give the Astros a 2-1 advantage.
The usual suspects were at it again in the eighth, and again with two outs. Castro and Dominguez both singled, and then Chris Carter joined the act with a rocket to right field that resulted in a long RBI single, making it a 3-1 Astros lead.
Dominguez finished the night going 3-for-4 with his two RBI, while Castro was 1-for-2 with a couple of walks.
And that's the end of the good news. Bedard pitched a scoreless seventh, but then proceeded to put runners on first and second with two outs in the eighth.
Paul Konerko came through for the home team with an RBI single to cut the Astros' lead to 3-2. Garcia added an unlucky (for the Astros) bloop infield single to load the bases, but Bedard was left out there to work through it.
He was not able to finish the inning as he allowed a go-ahead two-run single to Jordan Danks and was pulled in favor of Josh Fields, who recorded the last out of the eighth.
Grossman had himself a three-hit night by adding a double with two outs in the ninth, but Hoes grounded out to short to end it.
Jarred Cosart goes for the Astros tomorrow as they try to secure a series win after letting tonight's victory slip away.
More from Crawfish Boxes:
- The Legend of Paul Clemens Continues
- Astros Arizona Fall League Players Announced; DeShields Moving Back To Outfield
- Tuesday's Three Astros Things
- Astros Minor League Recap: August 26, 2013
- Astros Minor League Q&A: Talking with Aaron West