Instant Replay: Cosart dazzles in debut, beats Tampa Bay

Instant Replay: Cosart dazzles in debut, beats Tampa Bay
July 12, 2013, 9:00 pm
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(Derick E. Hingle - USA Today Sports Images)

The Astros didn’t just get a win on Friday against the Tampa Bay Rays. They may have found a pitching star of the future. In his major league debut, Jarred Cosart had a no-hitter through 6 1/3 innings and settled for a two-hitter in eight-plus innings in Houston’s 2-1 road win. The Astros’ runs came on Carlos Corporan’s two-run single in the first inning. In winning the first of a three-game series, the Astros snapped a three-game losing streak and halted the Rays’ eight-game winning streak.

 

STARTING PITCHING

Cosart (1-0) was the story of the game. A lot is expected from Cosart but his major league debut certainly was above anyone’s expectations. Cosart did not allow a hit until Ben Zobrist singled with one out in the seventh inning. In eight-plus innings, Cosart allowed only two hits and no runs with two strikeouts and three walks.

Throw away the first inning and David Price was outstanding. Price (3-5) gave up two runs and four hits in the first inning but settled down. In nine innings Price allowed eight hits with three strikeouts and no walks.

BULLPEN

Jose Veras relieved Cosart after Cosart walked pinch hitter Kelly Johnson leading off the ninth. Veras wasn’t helped by shortstop Jake Elmore’s throwing error that extended the game. The Rays scored and had runners on first and third with All-Star Evan Longoria at the plate. Veras got Longoria looking for strike three to end the game and get his 18th save.

AT THE PLATE

Corporan’s two-run single in the first inning off Price opened the scoring. Elmore, who hit three balls hard, Matt Dominguez and J.D. Martinez had two hits each. Elmore opened the game with a single and scored, along with Chris Carter, on Corporan’s single. The Astros got the first seven hits of the game.

Zobrist had two hits for the Rays’ and Luke Scott drove in the Rays’ run in the last of the ninth inning. Scott’s single off Veras scored Desmond Jennings, who reached first base with two outs on Elmore’s throwing error in the dirt that first baseman Brett Wallace couldn’t dig out.

IN THE FIELD

The Astros turned four double plays, with three in the final three innings.

Even for Brandon Barnes, that was a special catch he made off Jose Molina leading off the Rays’ sixth inning, preserving Cosart’s no-hit bid. It was so spectacular that at first it appeared fight fielder Martinez made the catch.

From his center field position Barnes dove full extension making the catch while at the same time having to contend with a crossing Martinez, who may have tipped the ball in front of Barnes.

Tampa Bay third baseman Longoria is noted more for his hitting but he can field too. Longoria reached over to make a catch in the Astros’ dugout by the television cameras for the second out of the second inning on a ball hit by Barnes.

ON THE BASES

Dominguez, who led off the fifth with a double, tagged up and reached third as Barnes flied out to right fielder Wil Myers. Dominguez gave the Astros a runner at third base with one out, but he was stranded as Marc Krauss struck out and Elmore grounded out to short.

UP NEXT

Game 2 of the three-game series continues on Saturday with Houston LHP Dallas Keuchel (4-5, 4.59 ERA) opposing RHP Roberto Hernandez (4-10, 4.93 ERA). Sunday’s starters are LHP Erik Bedard (3-5, 4.67 ERA) for Houston vs. Chris Archer (3-3, 3.59 ERA).