Ubaldo Jimenez (0-2, 11.25) vs Erik Bedard (0-1, 7.04)
Much better outing than last time around for Erik Bedard today. But he's still on limited innings, which meant that the bullpen still had to pick up more than half the game. That bullpen was twice handed a tie score, but they couldn't hold it either time, and the Astros fall again by a 5-4 margin. Cleveland wins the series 2-1, and Houston drops to 5-13 overall.
On the Mound:
*Bedard faced trouble in each of his four innings, allowing scoring in two, but it was still a far sight better than his one-out outing in Seattle last week. He did enough that the score was tied 2-2 when he left, ending up with this line: 4 IP / 6 H / 2 R / 2 ER / 2 BB / 8 K. Those 8 K were a season high for any Astros starter.
*Brett Oberholtzer was recalled from OKC to relieve a beleaguered bullpen after last night's debacle, and he got to make his ML debut today. Unfortunately for him, the event was marred by a pair of solo home runs, so he finished with a 2 IP / 3 H / 2 R / 2 ER / 0 BB / 0 K line.
*The Astros got the score back even at 4-4 for Hector Ambriz, but a contested-and-upheld home run off of him in the 7th proved the deciding blow.
*Wesley Wright's 9th featured a bunt single and a wild pitch, but he also K'd a batter and kept the inning scoreless.
At the Plate:
*Welcome back, Fernando Martinez. After J.D.'s knee put him on the DL, Fernando came back from the DL and took the first pitch he saw deep to the Crawford Boxes for a two-run HR. He finished 1 for 2 before Chris Carter took over for him in LF.
*Jose Altuve is still a machine, now on a 7-game hitting streak after a triple today. He also scored twice, drove in one, and walked twice, finishing 1 for 3.
*Rick Ankiel managed two hits that were not home runs, remarkably, but he also K'd twice more. His day went 2 for 4 with a double.
*Jason Castro went 2 for 5 today, but his bases loaded grounder in the 9th also ended the game.
*Chris Carter fanned in both of his official AB, but also drove in Altuve with a sac fly in his other PA.
*Matt Dominguez (1 for 3, HBP) and Marwin Gonzalez (1 for 3, R, K) each added a single.
Mark Reynolds two-out homer in the 7th off of Ambriz gave the Indians a 5-4 lead, but the Astros challenged hard in the 9th. Rick Ankiel led off against Cleveland closer Chris Perez with a double, and Matt Dominguez followed with a HBP to put two on. A Marwin Gonzalez sac bunt put the winning run in scoring position for Houston with only one out, and Jose Altuve at the plate. But Perez intentionally walked Altuve to load the bases, and Houston couldn't finish the job - Chris Carter K'd, and Jason Castro grounded to third, ending the threat and the game.
Man of the Match:
Fernando Martinez. It's well documented that this season may be his last big chance, and he started it off with a bang.
Goat of the Game:
Honorable mention to Hector Ambriz, but co-Goat awards go to Chris Carter and Jason Castro. The Astros did everything right to help themselves in the 9th, but the 2-3 hitters couldn't get it done.