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Bedard exercises caution in no-hit bid

HOUSTON -- Besides the oddity of seeing a pitcher lose after throwing 6 1/3 no-hit innings, Saturday's game was also odd for the way Erik Bedard exited.

While most players -- and pitchers especially -- talk about wanting the ball and wanting to stay in as long as possible, Bedard was having none of it.

"I was done," Bedard said of his thought process as manager Bo Porter approached the mound. "I wasn't about to go over 110."

The veteran lefty was thinking about his career when he asked out, saying he'd rather "pitch a couple more years than face another batter." Bedard left with 109 pitches and a man on first. Jose Cisnero allowed a go-ahead two-run double three batters later, saddling Bedard with the loss.

While Porter said he enjoys a bulldog mentality, he's also respectful of a player's physical limits, especially with his pitching staff.

"I've told our starters before, you better get it done within 120 pitches," Porter said. "Understanding the ramifications of what can follow that kind of stress on your arm, it's just something you have to be careful.

"Whenever you start to talk about health issues, I usually lean toward the side of protecting the player. This guy's had three surgeries and been down the road of the injury and having to rehab and he knows his body. I respect him for making the decision he made."

Bedard's outing was the first time a starter tossed at least 6 1/3 hitless innings and received a loss since Boston lefty Matt Young fell to Cleveland on Apr. 12, 1991.

Chris Abshire is an associate reporter for
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