Mills sees positives in Lindstrom's struggles

Mills sees positives in Lindstrom's struggles

WASHINGTON -- Despite the fact that Matt Lindstrom has allowed runs in three of his past four outings entering Wednesday, Astros manager Brad Mills isn't concerned that the right-hander is doing any more than working through the kind of rough patch every reliever goes through at some point during each season.

Lindstrom walked a hitter and allowed three singles in the eighth without retiring a batter in Wednesday's 8-4 loss to the Nationals. His ERA has risen from 3.65 to 4.59 after Lindstrom allowed six runs in 1 2/3 innings over his past four outings.

Since coming off the disabled list for a back problem on Sept. 1, Lindstrom has been mostly effective. Mills doesn't think his recent struggles can be tied to the previous injury.

"Are things connected? When they start stringing [bad outings] together, there's a possibility they might be connected," Mills said. "But at the same time, he feels strong, his back feels good, his arm feels good, his velocity is very good. His pitches have a lot of crispness."

Mills said he thinks Lindstrom's issues are more related to pitch selection and location.