CHICAGO (AP) – Injuries and illness slowed down Jed Lowrie during his first four years with the Boston Red Sox. Now with a new team, the fresh start has energized him and he’s become a major force for the Houston Astros.

Lowrie, who entered the season with 19 career homers, hit his 11th of the season – one of three by the Astros on Friday night – and Houston came into U.S. Cellular Field and beat the Chicago White Sox 8-3 in the opener of an interleague series.

“To go through a lot of the stuff I have over the last four years, you have to believe in yourself,” Lowrie said. “I’ve always known that I could be this type of player. It’s been fun so far, I just hope to continue that and stick to that same approach.”

Brett Wallace and Brian Bogusevic also homered and four Houston relievers didn’t allow a run over the final 3 2-3 innings.

Houston, which lost 14-2 to St. Louis on Thursday, won for just the third time in the last 13 games. Chicago lost for the fourth time in 15 games.

“We had a long one last night and got in early this morning. We showed up and just took batting practice in the cage today, just tried to give everybody’s legs a rest,” said Lowrie, who has three homers in his last seven games. `And I think the results spoke for themselves tonight.”

Lowrie’s homer, following a two-out walk to Jordan Schafer, gave the Astros a 4-0 lead in the fifth inning. Chicago starter Gavin Floyd (4-6) , who has given up six homers in his last two starts, walked two, threw two wild pitches and struck out nine over six innings.

Wallace had a solo shot off Floyd in the second, and Bogusevic delivered a three-run homer in the ninth off Will Ohman.

“The ball goes flying out of here,” Floyd said. “I just have to make better pitches to those guys who are hot, especially Lowrie.”



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