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Corporan backs Cosart's solid start for Astros

Catcher drives in two runs as right-hander hurls two hitless innings vs. Braves

Corporan backs Cosart's solid start for Astros

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Catcher Carlos Corporan drove in a pair of runs, and Jarred Cosart threw two scoreless innings to lead the Astros to a 7-4 win over the split-squad Braves in the first Grapefruit League game of the season at Osceola County Stadium.

Cosart, who was 1-1 with a 1.95 ERA in 10 starts in his Major League debut last season, needed only 27 pitches to throw two innings, allowing one walk.

"It's exciting to get the first one out of the way," Cosart said. "I felt like it was a big league game, and I had the adrenaline going in the first inning. I was a little sporadic than where I wanted to be in the first inning, but compared to last year and the mechanical adjustments I made, I felt great."

The Astros scored twice in the second inning against Braves starter David Hale, who worked two innings and struck out three batters. Corporan singled home Marc Krauss, and Robbie Grossman hit a sac fly to score Matt Dominguez to make it 2-0.

Houston took a 3-1 lead in the third when Jason Castro hit into a double play, and Dominguez led off the fourth with a triple and scored on Corporan's sacrifice fly to push the lead to 4-1. Tommy La Stella, Jordan Schafer and Cedric Hunter each had two hits.

Relievers David Carpenter (one inning), Yunesky Maya (two innings) and Lay Batista (two innings) each gave up two hits and one run for Atlanta.

Starting-rotation candidates Brett Oberholtzer and Jerome Williams followed Cosart to the hill and worked two innings each. Oberholtzer gave up three hits and one run, and Williams didn't allow a run while allowing three hits.

Up next: Left-hander Dallas Keuchel makes his first start of the spring on Monday afternoon when the Astros travel to Jupiter, Fla., to face the Miami Marlins at 12:05 p.m. CT on Gameday Audio. Keuchel is battling for a rotation spot, having gone 6-10 with a 5.15 ERA in 31 games (22 starts) last year.

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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