Jarred Cosart tries to continue a terrific start to his major league career on Tuesday when the woeful Houston Astros play the middle test of a three-game series against the Texas Rangers at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
Cosart has been a silver lining in an otherwise forgetful season for the Astros, posting a 1.15 ERA through six starts. The 23-year-old hurler was at his best on Wednesday in Oakland, as he held the Athletics to just three hits over six scoreless innings.
Despite not allowing more than two runs in any of his last five outings, he has not earned a decision in those starts.
Cosart may have a difficult time against a Rangers team that has beaten the Astros in 17 of 20 matchups. That trend continued in Monday's opener, as A.J. Pierzynski went 4-for-5 with a home run and four RBI, three of which came during an 11-run third inning, in Texas' 16-5 rout.
Ian Kinsler knocked in three runs and Leonys Martin finished 3-for-4 with two RBI and three runs scored.
The AL West leaders, who notched a season-high in runs, have scored 34 over their last three contests and have won 16 of their last 20 games overall.
Matt Garza (3-1) had more than enough run support to win for the eighth time in his last nine decisions. He allowed eight hits and five runs, and struck out eight over 6 2/3 innings.
Lucas Harrell (6-14), who had worked out of the bullpen in his previous four games, was shelled for seven hits and nine runs -- seven earned -- over 2 1/3 innings in the start.
"It's a confidence-booster for me. I feel really good about the way I threw the ball," Harrell said. "The results were I gave up a lot of runs, but on the positive side I got back to getting ground balls. It's huge for me. That's what I need to do."
Robbie Grossman drove in two runs for the Astros, who fell to 5-13 this month.
Heading to the hill for the Rangers on Tuesday will be Travis Blackley, as he'll be recalled from Triple-A to fill in for Alexi Ogando, who has an inflamed nerve in his right shoulder.
Blackley, who made 42 relief appearances for Houston this season, was acquired from the Astros on Wednesday.