Houston rookie Jarred Cosart said he's been pitching better out of the stretch than from the windup this season.
He got plenty of practice on Sunday.
Colby Rasmus drove in Emilio Bonifacio with a game-winning single in the ninth inning and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Astros 2-1.
Making his third major league start, Cosart gave up one run and four hits in six innings, walked a career-high five and struck out one.
"His fastball command was definitely not there today, there were several walks but he did a great job," Astros manager Bo Porter said. "Defensively we backed him with some really good plays."
Cosart allowed at least one base runner in every inning, but was able to minimize the damage.
"Today I was just out of synch on my windup," Cosart said. "I'm working on some stuff and I threw that out today, just trying to get through the game.
"My fastball was good out of the stretch but it wasn't the same out of the windup," Cosart added. "I've got to go watch the video, talk to (pitching coach Doug Brocail) and get it figured out before my next start."
Houston's top pitching prospect, the 23-year-old Cosart took a no-hitter into the seventh of his big league debut at Tampa Bay on July 12, earning the win against reigning AL Cy Young Award winner David Price.
"I worked so hard out of the stretch last year because that was the weak point for me, I couldn't get anything down," Cosart said. "Now I'm making better pitches out of the stretch than the windup, which is kind of unusual."
No matter how he pitches, Cosart's ability to avoid big innings has impressed his teammates.
"His biggest thing is he's just continuing to grow and continuing to mature," said Brett Wallace, whose solo homer was Houston's only run. "Since he's been here he's taken huge steps."
Blue Jays manager John Gibbons saw Cosart while working in the minors last season, and raved about his potential.
"He's got one of the better fastballs you'll find at any level," Gibbons said. "He was throwing the fastball right by us. If he can throw the fastball over, he's got a chance to be a really good one."
Rajai Davis stole a career-high four bases as the Blue Jays won for the third time in four games against Houston, owners of the worst record in the majors.
Bonifacio doubled to begin the ninth against Jose Cisnero (2-2), and Wesley Wright came on to strike out pinch-hitter Adam Lind, who was batting in place of the ejected Jose Bautista.
Encarnacion was intentionally walked to bring up Rasmus, who bounced a single over the mound and up the middle as Bonifacio scored standing up.
"We had opportunities and we couldn't capitalize and it came down to the big hit out of Colby late," Gibbons said.
Casey Janssen (3-0) worked one scoreless inning for the Blue Jays, who rebounded against Houston after being swept in consecutive series against Tampa Bay and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
"It's huge," Rasmus said. "We've got to put together as many wins as we can, just keep battling, keep grinding."
Blue Jays rookie right-hander Todd Redmond struck out a career-high 10 in six innings, the longest of his five career starts. He allowed one run, three hits and two walks.
After stranding three runners in the first two innings, Toronto broke through in the third when Jose Reyes drew a leadoff walk, moved to third on a single and a fly ball and scored on Encarnacion's sacrifice fly.
Houston tied it in the fourth on a one-out solo shot by Wallace, a former Blue Jays minor leaguer. The homer was his sixth of the season.
Encarnacion led off the bottom of the sixth with a drive to deep center and went into his home run trot as he rounded first. Outfielder Brandon Barnes threw the ball back after it appeared to bounce off the wall, and no home run was called. Gibbons came out to argue and the umpires huddled before checking the replay, but upheld the original call.
Crew chief Joe West said the umpires reviewed at least 10 replays, trying to find the best angle, but ultimately agreed the ball had hit the wall.