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HOU@ARI: Cosart fans eight, earns win vs. D-backs

The Astros have been playing some of their best baseball of the season, and the Rays have been playing some of their worst.

The Astros are 7-3 in their last 10 games, while the Rays are 2-8. But despite the shaky stretch, the Rays pulled off a 6-1 win at Minute Maid Park on Friday. Tampa Bay will look to ride the momentum Saturday and capture the series win with a victory.

Astros starter Jarred Cosart has played his part in the team's hot streak. Against the D-backs on June 9, Cosart went six innings and picked up a quality start and a win.

Cosart will get the nod against the Rays on Saturday and look to get the Astros back on track.

"These guys enjoy coming to the ballpark, enjoy playing with each other," said Astros manager Bo Porter. "When you start to have success, win, that breathes emotion. All these guys feed off each other. It's a good time for everybody."

The Astros have gotten an added boost from their farm system in the form of outfielder George Springer and first baseman Jon Singleton.

Springer and Singleton both struggled to start their careers, but their talent has shown through.

Springer won the America League's Rookie of the Month award after hitting 10 home runs in the month, and Singleton has four home runs and 11 hits through his first 11 games.

The rookies have seemed to energize this team that has struggled the last several years.

"You can sense it among the players, you can sense it among the fan base, and throughout the organization," said Porter. "It's a lot of fun to be around."

Rays: Archer improving
Rays manager Joe Maddon said he thinks Saturday's starter, Chris Archer, has improved in two areas.

The first is not losing control in an inning and walking multiple batters. The second is not struggling to get out of innings with two outs and no one on.

"I think he's controlling those moments that in the past have led to more difficult outings," Maddon said. "Just experience, growing up, that kind of thing. That's it, he's staying away from those two things that hurt him."

Maddon said the improvements are things that come over time, and it's made a noticeable difference for Archer.

In his last five starts, Archer has given up only three runs in 31 innings. In that span, his ERA has fallen from 5.16 to 3.42

Archer has had success against the Astros before. He threw the first complete game of his career in a 5-0 shutout against them on July 14, 2013.

Astros: Altuve missing time
The Astros' leading hitter, second baseman Jose Altuve, was out of the lineup on Friday after being hit in the right hand by a pitch against the D-backs on Thursday.

Altuve said before Friday's game that his hand felt "100 percent better" and that he could be back in the lineup for Saturday's game against the Rays.

Altuve has been one of the best Astros' hitters during the team's hot streak. He has a hit in 30 of his last 33 games and leads the Major Leagues in hits (90) and leads the American League in stolen bases (24).

Worth noting
• With their win Friday, the Rays snapped a 10-game losing streak on the road.

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