HOUSTON - Houston's Jed Lowrie was eager to become a starter when he was traded from the Boston Red Sox in December after several injury-filled seasons where he was relegated to a utility role with his former team.
Lowrie took over as the Astros' everyday shortstop and quickly became one of the high points of Houston's tough first half. He leads the team with a career-high 14 homers and has helped speed the defensive development of young second baseman Jose Altuve.
He is hitting .254 with 71 hits and 36 RBIs for the Astros, whose terrible road record has left them with the worst record in baseball at the break.
The 78 games Lowrie played so far this season are already just 10 fewer than the career-most he played last year.