Wednesday’s Red Sox-Astros matchups: Ryan Dempster vs. Jarred Cosart

August 07, 2013 - 5:29 am

Another day, another youngster. As the Red Sox and Astros wrap up their three-game series at Minute Maid Park in Houston on Wednesday night, the Astros are going to throw out another hurler in his early 20s '€” this time, 23-year-old right-hander Jarred Cosart '€” to oppose righty Ryan Dempster. Dempster (6-8, 4.54 ERA) is mired in a stretch of four straight outings that have not been good enough to qualify as quality starts. Since July 11 -- his final start before the All-Star break -- he has allowed 21 runs (16 earned) in 20 innings for a 7.20 ERA and 2.10 WHIP. Opponents have hit .330 with an .881 OPS against him in that time, and the 36-year-old also has seen a slight dip in his strikeout rate. His most recent start, a game that ended in the team'€™s dramatic 8-7 win after a six-run rally in the bottom of the ninth, arguably was the worst of them all. He let up seven runs on nine hits (one homer) and five walks in six innings. If there is reason to be optimistic, though, it may lie in the very end of that outing. After Dempster allowed five runs in the fifth, he retired four of the final five batters he faced. He finished the rough fifth at 96 pitches but bounced back in his 14-pitch sixth to allow only a harmless two-out single. One of Dempster'€™s best outings of the year came against the '€˜Stros on April 26, a 7-3 Red Sox victory. He went six strong innings, allowing only two runs on four hits and three walks to collect his first win of the season. He punched out 10 -- tied for his season-high -- while throwing 62 percent of his pitches for strikes. Cosart, meanwhile, made his major league debut July 12, one day after Dempster began his downward turn, and has been very sharp ever since. Each of his four starts have been at least six innings, and in none of them has he given up more than one earned run. In 28 innings, Cosart has yielded a total of three earned runs while posting a 0.96 ERA and 1.07 WHIP. His K/BB rate is a bit odd '€” 11 strikeouts to 12 free passes '€” but opponents are hitting just .194 with a .517 OPS. On Friday, he limited the Twins to one run in seven innings. Red Sox vs. Cosart (RHP) No Red Sox have faced Cosart. Astros vs. Dempster (RHP) Jose Altuve (6 plate appearances): .200 BA/.167 OBP/.400 SLG, 1 double, 1 RBI Jason Castro (6): .167/.167/.333, 1 double, 1 strikeout Brett Wallace (6): .250/.500/.750, 1 triple, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts Wesley Wright (5): .200/.200/.200 Chris Carter (3): .000/.333/.000, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts Robbie Grossman (3): .000/.333/.000, 1 RBI, 1 walk Matt Dominguez has two doubles in two plate appearances against Dempster. No other Astros have faced Dempster.