CHICAGO (AP) — Jarred Cosart was pumped to go up against one of the best starters in baseball.
Cosart's outing started slowly before he quickly bounced back to give the Astros six strong innings of one-run ball, but Houston's bullpen failed him in a 6-1 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday night.
"You got to be nervous before every game, but you know you're going up against (Chris) Sale," Cosart said. "He's an All-Star, he's going to make a lot of money and he's throwing the ball extremely well. Especially last game, he gave up eight runs, a guy like that, a number one guy, he's not going to have two bad outings in a row."
Cosart opened the game with a walk to Leury Garcia then allowed back-to-back singles to Gordon Beckham and Jeff Keppinger to load the bases. After pitching coach Doug Brocail came out to the mound for a chat, Cosart struck out Adam Dunn. Paul Konerko followed with an RBI single, but Cosart escaped with minimal damage by inducing a double play grounder against Avisail Garcia.
"Brocail thought I was working really fast and he asked if I was all right," Cosart said. "I said, 'Yeah, just a little excited.' So I just kind of got back in my comfort zone, both of them coming over to talk and calm me down a little bit. And that helped me out from there."
Cosart had every right to be nervous facing Sale (10-12), who bounced back from an embarrassing start Friday night against Texas in which he allowed a career-worst four home runs. Against Houston, he gave up only one run on four hits, struck out 12 and left to standing ovation after allowing his second walk of the game.
Astros manager Bo Porter said Sale performed as expected.
"He was vintage Chris Sale," Porter said. "He's a strikeout guy, power arm and was pretty much lights out. We hit some balls hard, but they were able to make plays. Other than that, he was pretty dominant."
Sale became the first pitcher in White Sox history to have 12-plus strikeouts in four starts. He also dropped his ERA to 2.99. His only blemish came in the seventh when Chris Carter sent a two-out, 421-foot solo shot into the left field bleachers to tie the game 1-1. It was Carter's 26th of the season.