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Houston Astros (32-59) at Tampa Bay Rays (53-40), 6:10 pm (CT)

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Jarred Cosart makes his first career major league start.

J. Meric

Houston at Tampa Bay, 6:10 pm (CT)

TV: CSN Houston, MLB.TV
Radio: KBME 790 AM, KLAT 1010 AM
Rays SBNation Blog: DRaysBay

Pitching Match

RHP Jarred Cosart (AAA OKC 7-4 / 3.29 ERA / 1.33 WHIP) vs. LHP David Price (3-4 / 4.18 ERA / 1.27 WHIP)

Preview

The Astros are coming off a short two-game series with Cardinals to once again face the red-hot Rays. Tampa Bay has won 14 of last 17 games, including back-to-back sweeps of the White Sox and Twins.

Everything is coming together the Rays just before the All-Star break. The Tampa Bay staff has collected a 2.10 ERA over their last seven starts. The Rays offense has been lead by Desmond Jennings, James Loney, and Luke Scott (yeah that Luke Scott) during this stretch. The former Astro, Scott is batting .440 with five extra base hits and six walks over his last eight games.

This will be David Price's second start against the Astros this season. Price returned from the Disabled List in Houston, the reigning Cy Young winner showed no signs of rust. He held the Astros scoreless over seven innings with 10 strikeouts and zero walks. In his latest start, Price pitched a complete game, allowing only one run to the White Sox. Chris Carter is the only Astro with any previous success against Price; he is batting .250 with a double and two walks.

That is enough about the Rays. This would be just another game, if not for Jarred Cosart making his major league debut. The anticipation for Cosart's arrival has been building since Cosart struck out Ryan Howard looking in the first Spring Training game this season.

What can we expect from the prize of the Hunter Pence trade with Philadelphia? Cosart has high strikeout (93 strikeouts in 93 innings at AAA Oklahoma City this season) and ground ball rate (57% in 2012). On the flip side, Costart's current 12.5 % walk rate is the highest in his career.

No matter the level of success by Cosart tonight, his start is a step toward the future.

Read More:
Jarred Cosart gets his chance
Jarred Cosart to make major league debut Friday
Jarred Cosart and The Start Of Something