MLB

Astros blow late lead in 4-3 loss to White Sox

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CHICAGO (AP)

Paul Clemens let his manager do most of the talking after a fine performance in his first major league start.

Clemens pitched six sharp innings for the Houston Astros, but the Chicago White Sox scored three times in the eighth to rally for a 4-3 victory on Tuesday night.

''It's an honor, it's a privilege,'' Clemens said of getting the opportunity to start. ''Just got to continue to work.''

The right-hander, who was recalled Tuesday from Triple-A Oklahoma City, allowed one run and four hits.

Despite his short answers, Clemens said he wasn't frustrated. He said he felt good, and his biggest priority while on the mound was to execute pitches.

Clemens made his first 30 appearances of his rookie year out of the bullpen, compiling a 4-4 record and 6.36 ERA. Manager Bo Porter said Clemens will remain in the rotation for the rest of the season.

''Clemens did a tremendous job,'' Porter said. ''He did a good job of battling. His command was not there the whole night, he ran into a little bit of trouble, but he was able to make some good pitches to get out of some tough situations.''

While Clemens adjusted to his new role quite well, Erik Bedard had some trouble coming out of the bullpen.

Bedard (3-10), who primarily has been used as a starter in his career, relieved Clemens in the seventh and was charged with three runs and five hits in 1 2-3 innings

With two outs in the eighth and runners on first and second, Paul Konerko singled in Jeff Keppinger to cut Houston's lead to 3-2. Avisail Garcia's infield hit then loaded the bases for Jordan Danks, who put the White Sox in front with a two-run single to center.

''I was actually trying to get him to go ahead and finish (the game),'' Porter said of Bedard. ''He's built up, he's been starting all year. And you look at where we were with their lineup, with the number of lefties in it. He's able to get lefties and righties out, you feel pretty good that Erik Bedard had the ball in that situation.''

Danks finished with a career-high three hits as the White Sox won for the ninth time in 11 games, bouncing back from a difficult loss in the series opener.

''He's been doing great,'' manager Robin Ventura said of Danks. ''Ever since he came back he's been swinging it good, playing good defense. He seems to be in the middle of everything. Even in Kansas City, he got some big hits there and tonight was the same way. It's nice to see.''

Houston (44-87) fell 43 games below .500, but Porter was able to point to some positive strides from his young players.

Robbie Grossman and Matt Dominguez had three hits apiece and Jason Castro reached base three times with a single and a pair of walks. Dominguez had an RBI double in the fourth and a run-scoring single in the sixth. Chris Carter hit an RBI single off Jake Petricka in the eighth, making it 3-1.

''Those guys swung the bat well,'' Porter said. ''I thought Jason had some really good at-bats. We did a good job running the bases as well to string together some runs there. Chris Carter with a big RBI, Matt Dominguez with a big RBI, we just didn't close it out.''

Dominguez and Carter hit consecutive two-out homers off closer Addison Reed to give Houston a 10-8 victory on Monday night.

Reed bounced back in the second game of the series, working the ninth for his 36th save in 41 tries. Grossman had a two-out double, but Reed got L.J. Hoes to bounce out to shortstop to end the game.

Donnie Veal (2-3) got one out for the win.

NOTES: Grossman singled in the first to extend his hitting streak to 14 games. ... INF Leury Garcia, acquired from Texas for OF Alex Rios, made his first start for the White Sox, batting ninth and playing second base. Ventura said Garcia, who went 0 for 3, likely will start Wednesday at shortstop, giving Ramirez his first day off of the season. ... To make room for Clemens, the Astros optioned RHP David Martinez to Triple-A Oklahoma City. Martinez, who was 1-0 with a 5.86 ERA, pitched 2 2-3 innings for Monday's win. Porter said Martinez will return after the Triple-A playoffs. ... Wednesday's pitching matchup is Houston's Jarred Cosart (1-1, 1.60 ERA) against Chris Sale (9-12, 3.08 ERA).

Tagged: White Sox, Astros, Erik Bedard, Chris Carter, Chris Sale

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