(Eds: With AP Photos.) By KRISTIE RIEKEN AP Sports Writer Jed Lowrie was eager to become a starter when he was traded to the Houston Astros by the Boston Red Sox in December after several injury-filled seasons that left him in a utility role.
Lowrie took over as the everyday shortstop and quickly became one of the high points of Houston's tough first half. He leads the Astros 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 (33-53).
The 78 games Lowrie played in the first half are only 10 fewer than his career high set last year.
He made his major league debut in 2008, but never played a full season because of injuries to his left wrist, left forearm and right shoulder. He also missed time because of mononucleosis.
Despite his track record, the switch-hitter was unh...