MINNEAPOLIS -- Erik Bedard has had four consecutive solid starts.
After the Houston Astros' 6-4 loss to the Minnesota Twins on Saturday, he doesn't have any wins in that stretch.Bedard allowed three runs and six hits and two walks while striking out six.After Bedard left the game, the Twins scored three runs in the seventh inning to take the lead."We have a young team," Bedard said. "You're going to go through spurts like that."Brett Wallace homered for Houston, while Robbie Grossman and Brandon Barnes both went 2-for-4. Grossman scored and drove in a run.Grossman's scored on L.J. Hoes' RBI single in the third that gave Bedard a 4-3 lead through six innings, but the Astros' league-worst bullpen cost him a win.Lucas Harrell (5-12) gave up a double to Clete Thomas to start the seventh, and Doug Bernier's sacrifice bunt that followed was the only out Harrell recorded among the next five batters."It comes down to fastball command," Houston manager Bo Porter said. "When you don't command your fastball, it's tough to get outs in this league."Brian Dozier doubled to score Thomas, and scored on Ryan Doumit's single three batters later. Joe Mauer, who was intentionally walked, scored on Oswaldo Arcia's walk with the bases loaded -- Harrell's third of the inning.The Astros bullpen has a 5.16 ERA this season, and Harrell's is 5.37."I've been bad and it showed tonight," Harrell said. "If I don't pitch better I'm going to be gone. Being realistic, that's the way it is.""This is arguably the toughest stretch which I've witnessed whether it's as a player, coach, manager, of bullpen woes," Porter said.The comeback took Minnesota rookie Kyle Gibson off the hook for the loss after the shortest outing of his brief career. He has won just once since his major league debut on June 29 and has allowed nine earned runs over his past six innings.After two quick outs in the third inning, Wallace's homer started a string of five consecutive hits, culminating in Hoes' RBI single scoring Grossman for Houston's third run of the inning.Gibson was done after throwing 81 pitches through three innings, but Anthony Swarzak held the Astros hitless in the next three innings followed by scoreless innings from Brian Duensing (4-1), Casey Fien and Glen Perkins.Minnesota's bullpen had 10 strikeouts in six innings, and Perkins picked up his 26th save.The Twins took a 3-1 lead in the second on a blooper-reel type of play that left Jose Altuve and Wallace staring at each other while Bedard pounded his glove in frustration.With runners on first and third, Dozier struck out and Bernier got caught in a rundown trying to steal second. With an eye on Thomas creeping off third, Altuve chased Bernier back to first and bumped into Wallace as Thomas went home.Thomas was credited with a steal of home, Minnesota's first since Torii Hunter swiped home versus Detroit on May 4, 2002.Dozier, Doumit and Arcia all had two hits for Minnesota, with Dozier extending his hitting streak to a career-high 10 games.
The Astros will recall Brad Peacock from Triple-A Oklahoma City to start Sunday's series finale. Peacock is 6-2 with a 2.73 ERA in the minors and 1/3 with an 8.07 ERA in nine appearances with Houston this season. OF Jimmy Paredes was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City after Saturday's game to make room for Peacock... Mike Pelfrey (4-9, 5.31) takes the mound for Minnesota and will try to break a three-game losing streak. . Andrew Albers will make his major-league debut for the Twins on Tuesday against Kansas City. The Canadian lefty arrived in Minnesota a couple hours before Saturday's first pitch, bleary-eyed but excited for his opportunity. "It's been a whirlwind last day-and-a-half. Just trying to take it all in right now. Not sure if it's really sunk in," said Albers, 11-5 with a 2.86 ERA at Triple-A Rochester. "I'm really thrilled to be here."
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MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 3: Kyle Gibson #44 of the Minnesota Twins delivers a pitch against the Houston Astros...