for this game

Astros' Cosart counters Price in debut vs. Rays

Jul 12, 2013 - 2:55 PM (Sports Network) - For the second time in 10 days, Tampa Bay Rays ace David Price will take the mound versus the Houston Astros.

The two clubs will open a three-game series Friday at Tropicana Field.

Price, the American League's reigning Cy Young Award winner, has won each of his two starts since coming off the disabled list and held the Chicago White Sox to a run in nine innings of work Sunday at home. He struck out five and did not walk a batter for the second start in a row.

The left-hander, who is 3-4 in 11 starts to go along with a 4.18 earned run average, was lights-out in an 8-0 win at Houston on July 2, when he fanned 10 batters over seven scoreless innings. Price has won both of his career starts against Houston with a 3.75 ERA in that span.

Price, though, has struggled at home with a 1-3 mark in six starts.

Opposing Price will be Astros top pitching prospect Jarred Cosart.

Acquired from Philadelphia in the Hunter Pence deal, Cosart was 7-4 with a 3.29 earned run average in 18 games (17 starts) for Triple-A Oklahoma City of the Pacific Coast League. Cosart had 93 K's in 93 innings pitching for the RedHawks. The team optioned outfielder Jimmy Paredes to Oklahoma City.

"Cosart is one of the top pitching prospects in baseball, and he's been consistently going out there and delivering good start after good start with dominating stuff," Astros GM Jeff Luhnow said last week. "He's the type of guy whose success will translate pretty quick to the big leagues when he gets a chance to come up here."

Cosart, a right-hander, was born in League City, Texas and was a draft pick by the Phillies back in 2008.

Tampa Bay made it eight wins in a row with Thursday's 4-3 victory over the Minnesota Twins in the finale of a four-game series. Rays starter Matt Moore struck out 10 batters and gave up three runs in 7 1/3 innings for the win.

"I was able to throw my fastball to both sides of the plate," Moore said. "And they were swinging. That makes my job a lot easier. It kind of gives you confidence going into that next pitch when they're swinging at strikes."

Moore was selected to replace Texas starter Yu Darvish in the All-Star Game.

Back-to-back home runs by Luke Scott and Evan Longoria in the bottom of the sixth inning helped Tampa Bay improve to 7-0 on this 10-game homestand and the club sits 3 1/2 games behind Boston for the AL East lead. Wil Myers recorded three hits and drove in a pair of runs.

Houston has lost three straight and five of six games, and dropped both meetings with the St. Louis Cardinals. In a 5-4 setback on Wednesday at Busch Stadium against their former NL Central foes, the Astros received a home run from Chris Carter and four hits by Brett Wallace.

"It's always fun to do it against them just because I know a lot of the guys," Wallace said of playing the Cardinals. "We've been here quite a bit so it's a good place to hit."

Jordan Lyles got the start for the Astros and did not receive a decision, as he allowed four runs in 6 1/3 innings. Wesley Wright was dealt the loss in relief.

The Astros lost three of four to the Rays to start July.