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Originally published Friday, April 26, 2013 at 9:17 PM

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Bedard shaky in Astros' 7-3 loss to Red Sox

It wasn't Erik Bedard's worst start of the season. Still, it wasn't pretty.

Associated Press

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It wasn't Erik Bedard's worst start of the season. Still, it wasn't pretty.

The left-hander labored through another poor outing Friday night, surrendering five runs on eight hits, including three homers, in three innings of the Astros' 7-3 loss to the Boston Red Sox.

"They did their job," Bedard said. "They fouled a lot of pitches off and got my pitch count up and scored some runs."

It's hard to imagine, but his poor performance doesn't come close to his struggles on April 15.

Bedard (0-2) failed to make it through one inning in his third start of the year, walking the first three batters of the game against Oakland and yielding six runs while recording just one out.

Failing at Fenway Park is nothing new to Bedard.

His ERA rose to 5.73 in 12 games in Boston, including his eight starts for the Red Sox after they acquired him at the trade deadline in 2011.

"I don't know," Bedard said with a laugh when asked about his history at Fenway. "Just the way it is."

Bedard struck out five and didn't walk a batter against Boston, while giving up a solo home run to David Ross in the second inning and back-to-back shots by Will Middlebrooks and Ross to start the fourth, sending him to the locker room and the Astros to their fifth loss in seven games.

"It's always tough when your starter does not go deep into the game," Houston manager Bo Porter said. "You go into your bullpen early, you're behind the eight ball and behind in the game as well. At some point, we're going to need these guys to start going deep into the game."

Unlike his first four starts, Bedard was not on a pitch count against Boston, and Porter said his effectiveness dictated how long he would go.

Despite not lasting more than four innings in any of his starts this season, Bedard's slot in the rotation isn't in jeopardy.

At least not yet.

"I'm not a knee-jerk decision guy," Porter said. "The five guys that we have in our rotation, they earned the right to be in the rotation and I don't make hasty decisions based on one or two outings."

Jose Altuve drove in two runs for the Astros, who finished with just seven hits and fell to 0-5 all time at Fenway.

"That's one thing I can say about this group - never have I seen, and I don't think we will see, these guys fold at any point," Porter said. "They're resilient all the way to the end."

Ryan Dempster struck out 10 for the Red Sox and David Ortiz homered for the second straight night. The Red Sox are having one of the best Aprils in club history. Boston (16-7) is two wins short of tying the club record for the month with three games remaining.

The back-to-back homers by Ross and Middlebrooks put the Red Sox up 5-1. Ortiz added a solo shot in the fifth and four Boston relievers combined to finish out the first win of the season for Dempster (1-2).

Dempster allowed two runs on four hits and three walks over six innings on a chilly night in Boston.

The Red Sox had at least two hits in every inning except the fifth, when they had one. It happened to be Ortiz's shot to straightaway center that put the Red Sox up 6-2. Ross, Boston's backup catcher, ended an 0-for-12 slump by going 4 for 4.

Boston's Mike Napoli hit a pair of doubles, bringing his season total to 13.

NOTES: Boston CF Jacoby Ellsbury stole the 200th base of his career when he swiped second after hitting a two-out single in the sixth. ... Ortiz has hit safely in all six games since he came off the DL last weekend and has an 18-game hitting streak dating to last July. ... Houston OF Justin Maxwell will miss approximately four to six weeks after fracturing the fifth metacarpal bone in his left hand when he was hit by a pitch on Tuesday against Seattle. ... The Red Sox are 12-0 when scoring first this season.

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