- Associated Press - Saturday, May 17, 2014

HOUSTON (AP) - Chicago White sox starter Hector Noesi pitched well over his last five innings Saturday against the Houston Astros.

However, his problems in the first inning were too much for the White Sox to overcome.

Jason Castro hit a three-run homer and Dexter Fowler homered and drove in two runs to help Houston outlast the White Sox for a 6-5 win.

The Astros jumped on Noesi (0-4) for four runs in the first inning. He gave up eight hits and six runs - five earned - in six innings to remain winless in four starts and 10 appearances this season.

Catcher Tyler Flowers said Noesi was up in the zone and had trouble with all of his pitches early.

“He had a hard time even warming up, trying to get that feel or whatever pitchers do to get it downhill,” Flowers said. “So we kind of knew it would be a battle to get him to stay on top and be down in the zone.”

Noesi settled down after the first inning and allowed just two hits - both singles - over the next three innings before Fowler’s homer with no outs in the fifth.

“He stubbed his toe coming out in that first inning,” Chicago manager Robin Ventura said. “He didn’t seem like he could get on track in that first inning. Guys were on, swinging the bat - all that stuff. After that, he composed himself and really battled. He got us to a point where we at least had a shot at it.”

Alexei Ramirez had two hits and an RBI, and rookie Jose Abreu drove in his AL-leading 42nd RBI with a sacrifice in the third.

Abreu played designated hitter for the second straight game to rest his sore left ankle. He is 0 for 7 in this series and was replaced by pinch hitter Paul Konerko with one out in the seventh inning.

Abreu said that it hurt more Saturday than it did on Friday. Ventura said he took him out because he thought he looked “awkward” on his last swing and that he didn’t expect him to play on Sunday.

“It’s like he takes a couple steps forward, and then he takes a step back, so we took him out, and we will re-evaluate him after (Saturday),” Ventura said. “It just looked like he might do something else that would injure something else, so we took him out as a precaution right now.”

Castro’s home run came in Houston’s four-run first inning. The White Sox scored two in the second and one in the third to cut the lead to one before Fowler’s solo shot in the fifth inning. His RBI single in the seventh inning pushed the lead to 6-3.

Houston starter Jarred Cosart (3-3) allowed seven hits and three runs in five innings.

Kyle Farnsworth had a tough debut with the Astros after being signed Saturday. Alejandro De Aza and Gordon Beckham each had an RBI off of the veteran reliever in the eighth inning to cut the lead to 6-5.

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