Bedard loses despite hitless start

Astros' Bedard yields no hits in start but still loses

Thanks for the help, pals.

You couldn’t blame Erik Bedard if that was his sarcastic greeting to his teammates on Saturday night. The Astros starter went 6 1/3 innings against the Mariners and gave up zero hits. But he was charged with three runs and took the loss in Houston’s 4-2 defeat.

Bedard struck out 10 and walked five, and it was walks plus some shaky work behind the plate and relief that wasn’t a relief that did him in.

Taking a 2-0 lead into the sixth inning, Bedard issued two one-out walks. A passed ball by catcher Jason Castro moved runners up to second and third. A sacrifice fly brought in one run and put a runner on third. Castro committed another passed ball, letting in another unearned run.

"With Bedard, I mean, the way that he pitches, I only know what's coming about half the time," Castro said of the passed balls.

In the seventh, Bedard recorded one out and then allowed a walk to Justin Smoak. He was done for the night. Jose Cisnero came in from the bullpen, retired one batter, walked another and then yielded a double to Michael Saunders, sending Smoak home with a run charged to Bedard.

Bedard, 34, could have stayed in the game, but he'd already thrown 109 pitches.

"I've had three shoulder surgeries," Bedard said. "I'm not going over 110. I'd rather pitch a couple more years than face another batter."

Before the game, seven-time Cy Young winner Roger Clemens gave the pitching staff a pep talk. Maybe he should have spoken to the catchers, too.

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