Thin bench haunts Astros in Friday's loss

Thin bench haunts Astros in Friday's loss

PITTSBURGH -- Had the Astros had their full complement of players on Friday, Jimmy Paredes wouldn't have even been in the game in the ninth inning. Paredes committed an error when he collided with second baseman Jake Elmore and caused him to drop the ball, allowing the Pirates to score the winning run.

Astros manager Bo Porter said Saturday he was short handed on his bench Friday with shortstop Ronny Cedeno (sinus problems) and outfielder Brandon Barnes (ankle) both unavailable. Barnes would have pinch-ran for Chris Carter in the eighth inning and stayed in the game to play the outfield instead of Paredes.

Trevor Crowe would have been in right field, with Robbie Grossman moving to left and Barnes in center.

"We were pretty light as far as the bench goes and it affected the way I managed the game," Porter said.

Barnes rolled his ankle making a game-winning catch in the ninth inning Wednesday in Detroit, and Cedeno was told by a doctor to take Friday off.

With only two bench players at his disposal -- one of whom was backup catcher Carlos Corporan -- Porter was forced to have relief pitcher Wesley Wright try to put down a bunt in the eighth inning. He struck out.

"When you're in a National League ballpark and you only have two bench players, and if one of them is your backup catcher, it limits the things you can do, and that's why you have Wesley Wright bunting," Porter said. "In a situation where we have our full complement of players, we would not have been in that position."

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.