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Houston Astros move struggling starting pitcher Erik Bedard to bullpen

(Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) Astros pitcher Erik Bedard has posted a 9.98 ERA in five starts this season. (Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

After the veteran lefty gave up 17 runs in 15.1 innings as a starter, the Houston Astros have opted to move Erik Bedard to the bullpen, manager Bo Porter told reporters on Sunday.

Bedard, 34, has appeared as a reliever just four times during his 10-year career, including Opening Day this year, when he allowed one hit in 3.1 shutout innings in his best outing of the season.

He has failed to pitch more than four innings in the five starts since, allowing at least four runs in three of them, and has allowed 12 walks and seven home runs.

In 2012, Bedard posted a career-high 5.01 ERA in 125.2 innings for the Pirates. His career ERA has risen to 3.93

From CSNHouston.com's Sara Eckert:

“I talked to Erik about it, and he took it well,” Porter said. “He understood the decision, and like I said to him, he’s not a guy that I’ll get up and sit back down. When he gets up [in the bullpen], I’m going to get him up and get him in the game. I understand where he’s at his in his career, but I do believe that he can really help us in a multitude of roles.

“His strikeouts are up and he’s a guy you can bring in if you find a pocket with some lefties that it may be the back end of a game situation, or it may be a long situation where we have a lead going into the sixth inning, kind of like we did Opening Day, and can set up the closer.”

Porter added the club will take advantage of Monday’s off today to keep starters Jordan Lyles, Bud Norris and Lucas Harrell on four days rest. The team is expected to announce Friday’s starter against the Rangers later in the week.

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