Astros avert sweep, top Braves

Tommy LaStella

Tommy LaStella

HOUSTON — Jarred Cosart flashed exceptional control in his sixth consecutive start and right fielder George Springer bashed his team-leading 15th home run as the Houston Astros averted a series sweep with a 6-1 win over the Atlanta Braves on Thursday at Minute Maid Park.

Cosart (8-5) walked two in seven innings, extending his string of starts with two or fewer walks to six. The right-hander labored with control throughout his rookie season in 2013 and issued four walks in four of his first 10 starts this year. But in five June starts, Cosart walked just seven in 34 2/3 innings.

The Braves (40-38) scratched across their lone run against Cosart in the first inning when center fielder B.J. Upton singled, stole second base and advanced to third on a throwing error by Astros catcher Jason Castro before scoring on a sacrifice fly by second baseman Tommy La Stella.

Cosart faced the minimum in his next three innings before darting in and out of jams in the fifth and seventh innings. His proved especially elusive in his final inning, retiring left fielder Justin Upton, third baseman Chris Johnson and shortstop Andrelton Simmons in order after designated hitter Evan Gattis doubled and right fielder Jason Heyward walked to open the seventh.

The Astros (34-46) erased a 1-0 deficit when first baseman Jon Singleton doubled home second baseman Jose Altuve in the first inning. They turned on the power in the fifth and seventh innings, with third baseman Matt Dominguez blasting a three-run homer off Braves left-hander Mike Minor (2-5) for a 5-1 lead before Springer lined a solo shot to left-center field off reliever Juan Jaime with two outs in the seventh.

Houston snapped a four-game skid with the win and scored more than five runs in a game for the first time since its 7-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on June 14. The Astros had dropped eight of nine games since then.