It was not the relief that Bo Porter and the Astros had in mind.
The lone run the Astros scored in the first inning appeared to be all the offense that Erik Bedard needed. Well at least that was the case until Hector Ambriz entered the game. Rickie Weeks greeted Ambriz with a two run home run to put the Astros behind for good.
A ninth inning blast by old friend Aramis Ramirez, also off Ambriz, then gave the Brewers an insurance run.
Bedard gave up a leadoff walk to Josh Prince to start the eighth inning and then departed for Ambriz after Logan Schafer bunted Prince over to second base. At that point Ambriz entered the game and promptly erased Bedard’s best start of the season.
It looked like the Astros were going to get Ambriz off the hook in the ninth inning, but they came up short. After a Chris Carter strikeout to start the inning against Francisco Rodriguez, Carlos Pena and Justin Maxwell both singled. Those were the ninth and tenth hits of the night for Houston, which normally would be a good thing. The problem though, is that they were all singles and the Astros were just not able to put anything together. A Matt Dominguez pop out and a Ronny Cedeno strikeout then ended the game.
For all of Bedard’s struggles this season, he has turned into a pretty reliable pitcher for the Astros over the last two months. After his May 1st start against the Yankees, Bedard’s ERA stood at 8.20. Entering his start tonight against the Brewers, Bedard was sporting a more attractive ERA of 4.82. That is still not great, but he is still suffering for his early season failures when he looks at his stats.
Tonight against the Brewers was no different for Bedard as he was able to keep Milwaukee off of the scoreboard into the 8th inning. Bedard’s final line shows that he pitched 7.1 innings while allowing one run on four hits and two walks to go with eight strikeouts. The best start of Bedard’s season lowered his ERA to 4.43.
Through most of the game, the Brewers were not able to get much offense going. A Martin Maldonado third inning single was the first Milwaukee hit of the game off Bedard who promptly erased him by getting Prince to hit into a double play.
It was then smooth sailing for Bedard until Weeks and Jean Segura both singled with two outs in the sixth inning. That also was not a problem and Carlos Gomez grounded out to Matt Dominguez to end the inning.
Aside from Jose Altuve, there were not many good things to say about the Astros’ offense tonight. Altuve had three hits on the night to go with three stolen bases and a run scored. In the first inning following a Jason Castro walk, Altuve stole his first base of the night giving J.D. Martinez an opportunity with runners on the corners with one out. Martinez promptly hit a sacrifice fly to plate Altuve for the lone Astros run of the night.
Tomorrow is an afternoon game for Houston as they seek a series victory over the Brewers.