HOUSTON -- When center fielder Dexter Fowler of the Houston Astros walked and scored in the first inning Saturday, he continued a streak of games in which his discriminating batting eye has served him well.
His productivity with the bat served Houston better in the fifth and seventh.
Fowler delivered two critical insurance runs and finished 3-for-4 with a walk, two RBIs and two runs scored as the Houston Astros held on for a 6-5 victory over the Chicago White Sox at Minute Maid Park.
After scoring the third run in the Astros' four-run first inning, Fowler hit an opposite-field leadoff home run in the fifth before driving in right fielder George Springer with an RBI single to left in the seventh.
"It's awesome," Fowler said of hitting between Springer and catcher Jason Castro in the lineup. "These guys swing the bat well, they get on base and they have some power, too. So there's all dimensions right there. We're just trying to get on base for the guys behind us.
"I'm seeing the ball well and that's all I want to do. If I see the ball well then things can happen."
The Astros (15-28) needed the additional runs because the White Sox (21-23) sent seven batters to the plate while rallying in the eighth.
Right-hander Kyle Farnsworth, signed by the Astros earlier Saturday, surrendered a sacrifice fly to center fielder Alejandro De Aza and an RBI single to second baseman Gordon Beckham in his first appearance with his ninth club, enabling Chicago to shave a three-run deficit to 6-5.
Astros left-hander Darin Downs retired third baseman Conor Gillaspie to stall that rally with two runners on base. Right-hander Chad Qualls picked up his third save by retiring the White Sox in order in the ninth.
By holding on, the Astros made a winner of right-hander Jarred Cosart (3-3), who scuffled mightily through three innings yet righted his ship long enough to last five.
Cosart threw more balls (34) than strikes (31) over his first three frames, but recovered to post a 29-8 strikes-to-balls ratio over his final two innings of work to factor into the decision.
"You actually sometimes learn more through your failures than through your success," Astros manager Bo Porter said. "For him to battle the way he had to battle -- a lot of deep counts, didn't really have his command -- and to make it through the fifth inning and be in position to win the game, you have to walk away and say to yourself, 'Wow. I'm glad I was able to continue to make pitches and not fold.'
"I think that's good for his maturation."
After nearly blowing all of the four-run lead his teammates provided in the first inning, Cosart stranded two runners in both the fourth and fifth to depart with a 4-3 lead.
Cosart allowed seven hits and issued four walks, but all three runs he surrendered came on outs, including two sacrifice flies in the second and a run-scoring groundout by designated hitter Jose Abreu in the third.
Houston jumped on White Sox right-hander Hector Noesi (0-4) with haste as second baseman Jose Altuve (single), Springer (RBI triple), Fowler and Castro (three-run home run) all reached before Noesi recorded his first out.
"He was up in the zone," White Sox catcher Tyler Flowers said of Noesi. "He had a hard time even warming up, trying to get that feel or whatever pitchers do to get it downhill.
"He had it some in bullpen, but then a couple of (pitches were ineffective), so we kind of knew it would be a battle to get him to stay on top and be down in the zone. Eventually he got it after the first inning."
Noesi settled down but could not solve Fowler, whose run-scoring hits marred the remainder of his afternoon.
Noesi departed after Springer singled to open the seventh, with the run charged to Noesi when Fowler greeted reliever Scott Downs with a hit after Springer took second on a Downs' errant pickoff throw.
"I was doing good after the first inning," Noesi said. "I felt like I could use through seven. Sometimes you don't control things, so you have to do what they want to."
NOTES: The Astros signed RHP Kyle Farnsworth on Saturday and optioned RHP Paul Clemens to Triple-A Oklahoma City. Farnsworth was 0-3 with a 3.18 ERA and three saves in 19 games with the New York Mets before being released on May 14. Clemens was 0-1 with a 4.08 ERA in eight appearances. ... The White Sox were pleased with the rehab performance of LHP Chris Sale on Friday night for Triple-A Charlotte, where he allowed no runs on one hit while walking two and striking out 11 in four innings. But they have yet to set a timetable for his return from the 15-day disabled list. ... Astros LHP Tony Sipp retired the side in the seventh inning, extending his string to 20 consecutive batters retired since signing with Houston on May 2.