Phil Coke, start two.

It went well as far as his pitching line.

But, not so well in his mind.

Coke allowed one run on three hits in three innings of a 6-3 loss to the Astros on Wednesday, the Tigers' first loss in six spring exhibitions.

He departed, irked, with the Tigers down 1-0.

"He did absolutely fine, but you can't do that," manager Jim Leyland said of Coke's tendency to put himself through the wringer. "You have to be careful. It's a long season."

This was a calmer, albeit less happy Coke. No guessing games with the media this time, no wondering if reporters wanted to wrestle.

He'd just been through a heavy conditioning session for his legs and still was sweating after an outing in which he felt he had "sandbags" around his ankles.

He beat himself up for pitches he didn't execute and for locations that weren't optimal.

But Coke was far more pitcher than personality this time while conversing at his locker - and that's the way it should be.