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Tale of two outings for Cosart vs. Cards

MLB.com

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Jarred Cosart put his potential on display in Friday afternoon's start against the Cardinals at Osceola County Stadium, but he also showed plenty of room for improvement.

The right-hander struck out the side in the first inning, getting Matt Carpenter swinging, Jon Jay looking and Matt Holliday swinging. He was able to get ahead in the count and throw all of his pitches to all parts of the strike zone.

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Jarred Cosart put his potential on display in Friday afternoon's start against the Cardinals at Osceola County Stadium, but he also showed plenty of room for improvement.

The right-hander struck out the side in the first inning, getting Matt Carpenter swinging, Jon Jay looking and Matt Holliday swinging. He was able to get ahead in the count and throw all of his pitches to all parts of the strike zone.

But then the second inning brought two walks, two singles -- one on a bunt Cosart wasn't able to field -- and a double. The Cardinals pushed across three runs.

"I think it was basically his fastball command," Astros manager Bo Porter said. "When you have a power arm, sometimes that can happen, and a lot of times it's probably better to go to your breaking stuff to get you back to your zone. He threw some really good breaking balls at the end of the first inning, and then the second inning it kind of got away from him, and his pitch count got up."

Cosart wound up throwing 74 pitches, 45 for strikes, in 3 1/3 innings. The 23-year-old gave up five runs on five hits with two walks and four strikeouts.

Coming off a rookie season in which he posted a 1.95 ERA over 10 starts but walked more than he struck out, Cosart has been working on an altered delivery. He now keeps his hands down near his waist, instead of up near his neck. It's become comfortable from the windup, but out of the stretch, Cosart hasn't quite found his timing.

"It's still coming along, but I feel I'm really close to completely having it figured out," Cosart said. "I thought today was better than last time, even though results-wise, obviously, it wasn't where you want to be when the season starts."

Andrew Simon is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB.

Houston Astros, Jarred Cosart