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Behind 11 straight, Astros top Power Rankings

Houston replaces fellow AL powerhouse Yanks at No. 1
MLB.com @alysonfooter

More than a week and a half ago, the Astros, coming off a win, departed for their longest road trip, and they were essentially in a neck-and-neck tie with Seattle in what is turning out to be delightfully interesting American League West race.

The Astros return home with an 11-game win streak, having just completed a 10-0 run through Arlington, Oakland and Kansas City. Over their past 11 games, the Astros have outscored opponents, 81-40, posted a .327 cumulative batting average, knocked 21 homers and compiled sterling ERAs: 3.80 for the rotation; 1.29 for the bullpen.

More than a week and a half ago, the Astros, coming off a win, departed for their longest road trip, and they were essentially in a neck-and-neck tie with Seattle in what is turning out to be delightfully interesting American League West race.

The Astros return home with an 11-game win streak, having just completed a 10-0 run through Arlington, Oakland and Kansas City. Over their past 11 games, the Astros have outscored opponents, 81-40, posted a .327 cumulative batting average, knocked 21 homers and compiled sterling ERAs: 3.80 for the rotation; 1.29 for the bullpen.

For historical context, the Astros' undefeated road trip is one of only seven that have stretched 10 games or longer since 1953. The most recent was the Indians' 11-0 roadie during their 22-game win streak in 2017. The others: Oakland in 2002 (10-0); Seattle in 2002 (10-0); Atlanta in 1992 (10-0); Cincinnati in 1957 (12-0); and the Yankees in 1953 (14-0).

The win streak moved the Astros into first place, but the space between them and the Mariners is hardly comfortable. Seattle is 7-3 in its past 10 games and is only 1 1/2 games behind Houston in the AL West.

Morning Lineup Podcast looks at Astros' streak

Biggest jump: The D-backs jumped four spots, from No. 13 to No. 9. The season is proving to be one of inconsistency for the D-backs, but after a rough patch, they've stabilized, posting an 11-5 record in June. Since the start of the month, they've scored a Major League-best 103 runs. That's already 26 more runs than they scored in all of May, when they posted an MLB-low 77.

Biggest drop: There wasn't a lot of movement in this area this week, unsurprising given we're almost three months into the season. The Cubs (No. 4 to No. 6), Braves (No. 6 to No. 8) and Angels (No. 11 to No. 13) all dropped two spots. In the case of the Cubs and Braves, this is nothing more than trying to fit a bunch of very good teams into the top eight. The Angels' situation is a little more dire -- they put a whole mess of players on the DL in the past few days and have a challenge ahead of them while waiting for everyone to get healthy.

Power Rankings Top 5:

1. Astros (2 last week)
An 11-game winning streak, by the numbers: Evan Gattis -- six homers, 21 RBIs and a .386 average; Jose Altuve -- 11 runs scored and a .480 on-base percentage; Alex Bregman -- .375 OBP, 13 runs scored, 11 RBIs, four homers. From the pitching side, relievers Chris Devenski, Hector Rondon, Tony Sipp and Collin McHugh all had 0.00 ERAs.

Video: HOU@KC: Bregman uncorks a 3-run homer to left field

2. Yankees (1)
The Yankees have won 13 of their past 17 games, and the bullpen has posted a 0.72 ERA over that span, allowing four earned runs over 49 2/3 innings. Among the top relievers are Aroldis Chapman, who has allowed one earned run in his past 15 2/3 innings, and Dellin Betances, who has strung together 10 consecutive scoreless innings. The Yankees have a heavy schedule ahead of them -- they'll play two in Washington on Monday, to make up for games lost due to weather during their rain-soaked road trip a month ago.

Video: TB@NYY: Chapman strikes out Wendle to earn 20th save

3. Red Sox (3)
After a 17-inning scoreless streak, the Red Sox bats came to life on Sunday in a 9-3 win over the Mariners, allowing them to gain a split of the four-game set in Seattle. The Red Sox, one win shy of 50 for the season, have relied on their strong starting pitching. Boston starters have held opponents to two earned runs or fewer in 12 of the past 14 games. The lineup has also feasted on right-handed starting pitching, posting a 41-15 record. Even before they tagged Mike Leake for five earned runs on Sunday, Sox hitters led the Majors with a .268 average and .475 slugging percentage off righties.

Video: BOS@SEA: Red Sox club three homers against Mariners

4. Mariners (7)
With its 46-26 start, half of Seattle's wins have been by one run (23-10). Since 1908, no other team has had 23 one-run wins in the first 71 games of a season. Also, the Mariners have the third-best home record in the Majors at 25-14. The only two teams ahead of them in that category happen to be the teams they're playing on the road this week -- they begin a three-game set with the Yankees on Tuesday, and then move on to Boston for three next weekend. If Mariners fans are looking for some more optimism to add to an already happy season, Seattle is 10-4 against the AL East this year.

Video: Must C Clutch: Span caps Mariners' terrific comeback

5. Brewers (8)
Though the Brewers lost to the Phillies on Sunday, the game wasn't without its positives. Eric Thames, who missed a month and a half with a torn ligament in his thumb, knocked two homers, a good sign that he's getting back into a groove after logging just one hit in 10 at-bats since coming off the DL. Other offensive contributors include Lorenzo Cain, who is slashing .370/.469/.593 in his past seven games, and Christian Yelich, who is batting .382 with nine homers and 28 RBIs in the 37 Brewers wins he's played in this year.

Video: PHI@MIL: Thames clobbers a homer to right in the 1st

The rest of the Top 20:

6. Cubs (4)
7. Nationals (5)
8. Braves (6)
9. D-backs (13)
10. Indians (9)
11. Dodgers (10)
12. Cardinals (12)
13. Angels (11)
14. Phillies (14)
15. Rockies (15)
16. Athletics (16)
17. Giants (17)
18. Pirates (18)
19. Rays (20)
20. Blue Jays (19)

Alyson Footer is a national correspondent for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter.

New dad feels late dad's presence before walk-off

Special to MLB.com

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Jose Trevino had an uncanny feeling as he stood in the on-deck circle on Sunday, waiting his chance to come up as a pinch-hitter with the Rangers down one and the bases loaded and one out.

"I was talking to one of the security guards in the tunnel, and I said, 'I have a funny feeling about this.' I knew I was going to have help from an angel above," Trevino said.

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ARLINGTON, Texas -- Jose Trevino had an uncanny feeling as he stood in the on-deck circle on Sunday, waiting his chance to come up as a pinch-hitter with the Rangers down one and the bases loaded and one out.

"I was talking to one of the security guards in the tunnel, and I said, 'I have a funny feeling about this.' I knew I was going to have help from an angel above," Trevino said.

View Full Game Coverage

The angel was his dad, lost to the family in October 2014, the year Trevino was drafted out of Oral Roberts University.

Perhaps with the help of that angel, Trevino got it done, blooping a walk-off two-run single into shallow left field in the bottom of the ninth, scoring Rougned Odor and Isiah Kiner-Falefa to give the Rangers a wild 13-12 victory over the Rockies at Globe Life Park.

Video: COL@TEX: Trevino on Father's Day walk-off, tears up

Texas overcame two four-run deficits and scored four in the last frame off Wade Davis, who could not find the strike zone in a game that featured 25 hits and 10 walks, including four issued by the Colorado closer.

Jesse Chavez (3-1) earned the victory in relief for the Rangers, who have won two straight. Davis (0-2) suffered his fourth blown save.

"I knew if it got down to it, he wouldn't let me down," Trevino said.

It has been quite the week for the 25-year-old native of Corpus Christi, who made his Major League debut on Friday and got his first start on Saturday. And only a week ago, Trevino became a father himself.

"Pretty incredible week for the young man," Banister said. "To become a father, a big-leaguer and play a significant role in a couple of wins ... I think he'll look back on his first few days in the big leagues and think of how special they really were."

Video: COL@TEX: Rangers take the lead with a 5-run 6th

Down 5-1 in the sixth, the Rangers broke through with five runs on three hits, a walk and two Colorado errors. Jurickson Profar had two hits and four RBIs, including a three-run home run in the inning. Nomar Mazara, in his first game back after missing two straight with a sore left wrist, had two hits and three RBIs for Texas.

Gerardo Parra had three hits and four RBIs, one of eight Rockies hitters with an RBI. Trevor Story, local boy done good, from Irving, had a two-run home run in the ninth.

Offensively, Texas had very little to show early against right-hander Jon Gray, who struck out six of the first nine hitters he faced. Profar's blast off of Gray was his eighth homer of the season and sixth in his last 27 games.

Video: COL@TEX: Profar hammers a go-ahead 3-run home run

Another local boy done good was Yovani Gallardo, whose ideal Father's Day would have included a homecoming victory in his first start of the season.

He'll be happy with the consolation of a no-decision.

Video: COL@TEX: Gallardo's first K since rejoining Rangers

Gallardo, who was raised and still lives in nearby Fort Worth, began his second stint with the Rangers after pitching for them in 2015. He is now winless in 12 career starts after giving up five runs on six hits and three walks while striking out four over five innings.

DJ LeMahieu, the leadoff hitter, drove Gallardo's third pitch off the foul pole in left to put the Rockies up.

"I thought Yo threw the ball well," manager Jeff Banister said. "It was similar to what we've seen in the past from Yo. He gave up a couple of soft hits, the walks are something not typical of Yo, but he managed the game and was able to give us some length."

Video: COL@TEX: Banister on his team's passion in 13-12 win

MOMENT THAT MATTERED
Joey Gallo had a day to forget. The Rangers' left-fielder had four strikeouts in his first four at-bats, including two looking, but Gallo worked a walk off Davis to drive in Texas' 11th run and set up Trevino's heroics.

SOUND SMART
Shin-Soo Choo's base hit, part of the Rangers' five-run sixth inning, extended his on-base streak to 31 consecutive games, an AL-best in 2018, and longest for a Texas player since Elvis Andrus reached 32 straight in 2012.

HE SAID IT
"I say it all the time. I'm one of the most blessed human beings alive to be able to have a group of guys who continue to come to the ballpark charged up and ready to play the game of baseball. They have the passion and love of the game. They don't quit. That's inherent in them. That's not coaching, it's inherent in you as a person and competitor. They have that." -- Jeff Banister

RUA SENT DOWN
After the game, the Rangers optioned Ryan Rua to Triple-A Round Rock, one of a couple of roster moves that will need to be made to make room for the long-awaited return of Andrus. The others will be made Monday morning.

UP NEXT
The Rangers begin a six-game road trip with the first of three in Kansas City on Monday at 7:15 p.m. CT. It might be the most welcome trip away from Arlington this season with Andrus expected to rejoin the team on Monday after missing more than two months with a fractured right elbow. Andrus has been on the shelf since being hit by a pitch from Angels closer Keynan Middleton on April 11.

Right-hander Bartolo Colon (3-4, 4.94 ERA) goes for Texas. The veteran is seeking career victory No. 244, a mark that would set a record for most wins by a pitcher from the Dominican Republic. Kansas City is set to send out right-hander Ian Kennedy, who is 1-6 with a 5.13 ERA.

John Henry is a contributor to MLB.com based in Arlington.

Texas Rangers, Jose Trevino

Hamilton's latest catch: 'Are you kidding me?'

Reds center fielder lays out to rob Cervelli on ball with 2% catch probability
MLB.com @m_sheldon

PITTSBURGH -- When the guy who was just robbed of a hit applauds the catch, it must have been really good.

In the bottom of the first inning of the Reds' 8-6 win over the Pirates on Sunday at PNC Park, Francisco Cervelli hit a two-out drive to deep right-center field. Reds center fielder Billy Hamilton reacted quickly, sprinting toward the wall before laying out to make a diving snowcone catch on the warning track.

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PITTSBURGH -- When the guy who was just robbed of a hit applauds the catch, it must have been really good.

In the bottom of the first inning of the Reds' 8-6 win over the Pirates on Sunday at PNC Park, Francisco Cervelli hit a two-out drive to deep right-center field. Reds center fielder Billy Hamilton reacted quickly, sprinting toward the wall before laying out to make a diving snowcone catch on the warning track.

View Full Game Coverage

"That has to be up there with one of my top plays," Hamilton said. "That one, I came in and I was like, 'I don't know how I caught that one. I don't even know how I got close to it.'"

According to Statcast™, the play had only a 2 percent catch probability, tied with a catch by Milwaukee's Lorenzo Cain on March 30 for lowest this season. Hamilton covered 83 feet of ground in 4.3 seconds and reached a sprint speed of 30.1 feet per second.

Reds pitcher Anthony DeSclafani was the biggest beneficiary of the superb effort. At the time, it was a scoreless game.

"He saves pitchers all the time. He's just fun to watch out there. It's like video game stuff," said DeSclafani, who was aided by Hamilton last Sunday in a win vs. St. Louis with a great throw that nailed a runner at the plate.

Video: STL@CIN: Hamilton nabs Martinez at home

Watching the play as he rounded first base, Cervelli clapped after Hamilton secured the ball for the third out. He removed his helmet and also gestured his appreciation with raised arms and a smile.

"That was unbelievable. I think that's the only person who can catch that ball. It's amazing," Cervelli said.

Hamilton was still laying on his back trying to gather himself and didn't see Cervelli's appreciation of a good catch.

"I was just so excited I made the catch and we got out of the inning with the play," Hamilton said. "[Cervelli] is one of those guys, he always gives credit where credit is due. Even when you get a nice hit or something, he'll let you know that it was a great hit."

LISTEN: Morning Lineup Podcast on Hamilton's catch

The crowd at PNC Park also didn't seem to mind that Cervelli missed out on a hit, either: Pirates fans acknowledged the great catch with loud applause as Hamilton returned to the dugout.

"These are some great fans over here," Hamilton said. "They've always been great to me in the outfield. You can go some places where there are mean fans, like disrespectful fans. This is one stadium I can come to and enjoy myself, relax and play baseball."

Perhaps Hamilton's play energized him for the rest of the day. He was 3-for-4 with three singles, two stolen bases and three runs scored. Entering the day, he was 3-for-40 over his last 12 games with 15 strikeouts and batting .187 overall.

Video: CIN@PIT: Hamilton swipes his 12th base of 2018

"You make a play like that, you're like, 'OK, something good has got to happen.' I feel great, my body is feeling great, I just made a nice catch. I just take that happiness into the at-bat," Hamilton said. "That was an exciting catch for me coming into the at-bat, like, 'Oh yeah, let's go.' That's the boost I need."

Hamilton had one more strong defensive play in the eighth inning on Gregory Polanco's RBI double that made it 6-5. He made a perfect relay throw from right-center field to Jose Peraza, who threw to the plate to get Josh Bell and prevent the tying run from scoring.

Video: CIN@PIT: Peraza throws out Bell, review confirms

"I know once I get it out of my hands and get it to those guys, they are going to make great decisions," Hamilton said. "Peraza did a great job of getting the ball home and it was a big stop for us, to be honest with you."

Interim manager Jim Riggleman likes the consistent extra effort on defense Hamilton provides.

"We see him giving us tremendous plays regardless of whether he's struggling with the bat or not," Riggleman said.

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Cincinnati Reds, Billy Hamilton

Mets stun D-backs with 2 HRs, 4 runs in 9th

MLB.com @AnthonyDiComo

PHOENIX -- It rained this weekend in Arizona, the type of biblical downpour that happens infrequently enough for some of the desert's more cynical dwellers to conclude, not entirely tongue-in-cheek, that a black cloud might be following the Mets. Losing 19 of 24 games coming into Sunday's play, the Mets could pin the blame on their bullpen, their offense, their defense -- anything, really, other than their starting pitching.

There was also the less quantifiable fact that the Mets never seemed to catch a break.

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PHOENIX -- It rained this weekend in Arizona, the type of biblical downpour that happens infrequently enough for some of the desert's more cynical dwellers to conclude, not entirely tongue-in-cheek, that a black cloud might be following the Mets. Losing 19 of 24 games coming into Sunday's play, the Mets could pin the blame on their bullpen, their offense, their defense -- anything, really, other than their starting pitching.

There was also the less quantifiable fact that the Mets never seemed to catch a break.

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In the ninth inning Sunday, they caught two, using a pair of Arizona defensive mistakes to give Brandon Nimmo a chance in a one-run game. And in the midst of a breakout season, Nimmo delivered, hitting a go-ahead, two-run homer in the ninth inning of the Mets' 5-3 win over the D-backs at Chase Field.

"We've been waiting for a big hit to happen," Nimmo said. "I don't know what it means for the future, but for right now, to get two wins in a row against a good D-backs team, that's awesome."

Video: NYM@ARI: Nimmo discusses his go-ahead home run in 9th 

Consecutive wins may not seem like much, but for a Mets team that hadn't accomplished the feat in nearly a month, they were everything. Trailing for most of Sunday's game, Nimmo described a "tense" Mets dugout, staring down a series loss to a potential playoff team. Facing D-backs closer Brad Boxberger, who shut them down without issue Thursday and Friday, the Mets slid further into their shells when their first two batters in the ninth struck out.

Next up was Jose Reyes, the focal point for so many of the Mets' frustrations in recent weeks. Noticing a defensive overshift, Reyes dropped a bunt just in front of home plate, where catcher Alex Avila speared it rather than let it go foul. By the time Avila whirled around, ball in hand, Reyes was nearly at first base.

The Mets' second break happened moments later, when Jose Bautista punched an outside fastball down the right-field line. Though Bautista struck the ball well enough to send it close to the wall, it hung up for nearly five full seconds -- enough time for Statcast™ to register Jon Jay's catch probability at 99 percent. But Jay didn't catch it; the ball glanced off his glove, allowing Bautista to cruise into second with an RBI double.

Video: NYM@ARI: Bautista plates Reyes with a double to right

Still, the Mets trailed, but now the top of their order was up. Already with a single, a double and a run scored on the afternoon, Nimmo hammered a Boxberger changeup 419 feet over the fence, clapping his hands and grinning as he rounded first base. Asdrubal Cabrera followed with a solo shot, and Robert Gsellman pitched around an error to record the final three outs in the ninth.

"Just elated," was how Nimmo described the moment. "It felt like a weight had been lifted off us."

Video: NYM@ARI: Gsellman induces line out to earn 3rd save

Much work remains for the Mets, who are still eight games under .500 and will play their next seven against the Rockies and Dodgers, both of whom also entered this season with playoff aspirations. But at least they now have hope. Nimmo is as hot as at any point this year. Michael Conforto is breaking out of his slump. And the Mets' starting pitching -- Zack Wheeler struck out eight over six innings of two-run ball Sunday -- continues to thrive, with the league's best ERA since May 21.

Video: NYM@ARI: Wheeler strikes out Jay looking in the 1st

Although manager Mickey Callaway noted that "the way we won is probably more significant than just getting a back-to-back win," the Mets will take the bump in the standings, too. Nimmo joked that their consecutive wins reminded him of a famous scene from "Major League II," in which fictional manager Lou Brown attempted to convince his players that winning streaks are, in spite of so much evidence to the contrary, possible.

"Yeah, it's been a while," Nimmo said, still grinning well after the game's official end. "And so for us to get that second win in a row, on a big hit, that's really good for our positivity going forward, our momentum going forward. Like I said, I don't know what it means for our future. I hope this team keeps fighting."

Video: NYM@ARI: Callaway on Mets' 5-3 win over the D-backs

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Making his own luck: Reyes' slump had grown long enough, and conspicuous enough, that he was beginning to have trouble escaping talk of the Mets releasing him. While the team did go that route with another slumping 30-something, Adrian Gonzalez, they offered Reyes a bit more rope.

He took advantage of it Sunday with one of his best games as a Met, making several slick defensive plays behind Wheeler before coming to the plate in the ninth. Pushing his bunt just far enough that Avila had to scramble out from behind the plate to grab it, Reyes dropped his head and reached a top sprint speed of 28.3 feet per second, per Statcast™ -- strong for anyone, elite for a 35-year-old. He then took second base on defensive indifference, scoring on Bautista's double.

Video: NYM@ARI: Reyes charges, fires on the run to nab Dyson

"He made a perfect bunt," Avila said. "The ball was just dead there in the grass and I was going to try to make a barehanded play."

"I just put it down and ran, man," added Reyes. "It means a lot, because I feel like I contributed today. I contributed to the ballclub. I contributed to this win."

VARGAS EJECTED
Although he did not appear in the game, Mets pitcher Jason Vargas chirped loud enough from the dugout that home-plate umpire Jim Reynolds ejected him during the fourth inning. Vargas appeared to take exception to Reynolds' calls during a four-pitch walk of Daniel Descalso, who took two pitches for balls that Statcast™ data showed as strikes.

After Reynolds ejected Vargas, Callaway emerged from the Mets' dugout for a brief conversation with the home-plate umpire. The situation escalated no further than that.

Video: NYM@ARI: Vargas ejected for arguing in the 4th inning

"I came in and told him, 'Thank you, I needed another little break to catch my breath,'" joked Wheeler, who allowed both of his runs in the fourth. "He sort of stuck up for me and voiced his opinion."

HE SAID IT
"It's a fresh breath of air. We needed that hit and he came through for us at the right time. He's becoming a very good player for us." -- Wheeler, on Nimmo's home run

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
Mere minutes after his team took the lead in the ninth, first baseman Dominic Smith gave the D-backs a bit of life when he dropped Cabrera's throw on a routine ground ball, attempting to transfer it from his glove to his hand between his legs. Callaway challenged first-base umpire Bruce Dreckman's safe call, but the call would stand after a replay review. When Gsellman retired the next three batters to take him off the hook, Smith pointed to the sky in obvious relief.

"I don't think Dom Smith will try to transfer the ball in between his legs anymore," Callaway said.

Video: NYM@ARI: Avila reaches on error, call stands in 9th

UP NEXT
The Mets are 2-8 in the last 10 games Jacob deGrom has started, despite his 0.87 ERA in those contests. They can only hope a trip to hitter-happy Coors Field will help them give deGrom a bit more support. He'll open a four-game series there on Monday, starting an 8:40 p.m. ET game opposite left-hander Tyler Anderson.

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo, Instagram and Facebook.

New York Mets, Asdrubal Cabrera, Brandon Nimmo, Zack Wheeler

Boston's homer barrage secures split in Seattle

Devers, Bradley, Bogaerts go yard to back Rodriguez's strong starting performance
MLB.com @IanMBrowne

SEATTLE -- The drought that started midway through the game Friday night and didn't let up at all on Saturday was erased by an eruption from the Red Sox on a beautiful Sunday afternoon at Safeco Field.

After going 17 innings without a run, the Boston bats livened up on Father's Day en route to a 9-3 victory that allowed manager Alex Cora's team to salvage a four-game split against the surging Seattle Mariners.

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SEATTLE -- The drought that started midway through the game Friday night and didn't let up at all on Saturday was erased by an eruption from the Red Sox on a beautiful Sunday afternoon at Safeco Field.

After going 17 innings without a run, the Boston bats livened up on Father's Day en route to a 9-3 victory that allowed manager Alex Cora's team to salvage a four-game split against the surging Seattle Mariners.

View Full Game Coverage

The big blows were homers by Rafael Devers (three-run shot), Xander Bogaerts (two-run blast) and Jackie Bradley Jr. (solo).

Not to be overlooked, however, was a nine-pitch walk by J.D. Martinez that loaded the bases with two outs in the top of the third. Mitch Moreland followed with a two-run single against Mike Leake.

Video: BOS@SEA: Moreland drives in 2 with a single to center

And Devers capped the damage in the inning when he belted one off the scoreboard façade of the second deck in right field. Devers got all of a 1-2 slider from Leake and smoked it at an exit velocity of 105.8 mph and a projected distance of 408 feet to make it 5-0, Red Sox.

"Yeah, it was great," said Cora. "The at-bat by J.D., the walk, that was a good one. Obviously Benny getting on base and a big hit by Mitch not trying to do too much. And Raffy, he crushed that homer and he crushed one to right field."

Video: BOS@SEA: Devers launches a 3-run homer to right

With a cushion to work with, Eduardo Rodriguez (9-1, 3.59 ERA) took over the team lead in wins with his latest strong performance. This time, the lefty even pitched six innings, a plateau he had been unable to reach in six of his previous seven starts. Rodriguez limited Seattle to six hits, two runs and a walk while striking out nine.

"Eddie did a great job," said Moreland. "We were on him and all celebrating because he hit that six-inning mark, but he threw the ball great just like he has been pretty much the whole season. He pretty much led the way for us. It was a big game and a good win for us."

Video: BOS@SEA: Rodriguez goes 6 strong frames in win

Rodriguez worked at a good pace throughout, and when Nelson Cruz temporarily interrupted his momentum by belting a solo homer, the lefty struck out the next three batters to end the bottom of the fourth inning.

"You have to go out there and sometimes you give up homers, sometimes you give up base hits, you have to get to the next hitter," said Rodriguez. "That's the mentality I had there. After the homer I was thinking to get the other guys out and that's what happened."

With the win, the Sox improved to 14-3 on getaway days this season. And they had some fun after the game, when every player and member of the team's traveling party wore soccer jerseys representing different countries in honor of the World Cup.

• See the Red Sox players' World Cup allegiances

"It's a sign they like to have a happy flight," said Cora. "It's a lot better to win when you're leaving. They finish series, that's great. Regardless of where we were, Houston, down two games and we came back and won the last two. Here, after the last two games, we bounced back. We're a good team. We know how to play the game and we turn the page very quick and we focus on the next one."

Video: BOS@SEA: Bogaerts launches a 2-run homer to left

The Red Sox are 49-24, just percentage points behind the Yankees in the American League East, heading into an off-day on Monday.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
E-Rod escapes: Clinging to a 5-2 lead with the bases full of Mariners and two outs in the fifth, Rodriguez had to face Cruz, who had homered an inning earlier. Cruz worked a strong, seven-pitch at-bat but Rodriguez made the pitch he needed to, inducing the slugger into a popup on a 93.6 mph fastball.

"With the score where it was, you've got to throw strikes and he did and he executed some pitches in that at-bat," said Cora.

JBJ gets positive result: In particular, the homer that Bradley hit -- just his fourth of the season -- was one that could pay dividends. Over the last 10 days or so, Bradley has ironed out some mechanics and gotten rid of his toe tap. Until Sunday's homer, he hadn't had many results to show for it.

Video: BOS@SEA: Bradley slugs a solo homer to center

"Just stay with the process, especially Jackie. He's hit some balls hard right at people. Finally, he hit one to straight center that went out. When he hit it, I was like, 'He's going to catch it.' It's gotten to that point. But that was good to see."

SOUND SMART
One win shy of 50 for the season, the Red Sox can thank their starting pitching for their strong start. That has been particularly true of late, as Boston starters have held the opponent to two earned runs or fewer in 12 of the last 14 games.

HE SAID IT
"Yeah, I think we're disappointed we didn't win Game 2. We've got to finish them. This is a team you've got to play nine innings and today, we did an outstanding job finishing the game and we got the W. Although that's OK, two out of four, we'll take it, but I think there was one that slipped away." -- Cora, on the split in Seattle

UP NEXT
After an off-day on Monday, the Red Sox send ace Chris Sale to the mound for Tuesday night's opener of a three-game series at Target Field against the Twins. Sale has dominated in his last two starts, allowing a total of two runs and striking out 19 on 14 innings. He will face Jose Berrios, with an 8:10 p.m. ET first pitch.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Boston Red Sox, Rafael Devers

Yadi guides Flaherty-led shutout on historic night

MLB.com @LangoschMLB

ST. LOUIS -- On a night when his longevity earned him a special spot in Major League history, Yadier Molina offered the spark the Cardinals sought as they halted a four-game losing streak and stalled the Cubs' division climb.

By the end of the evening, Molina's fingerprints were all over the Cardinals' 5-0 victory, one that prevented the Cubs from finishing off their first sweep at Busch Stadium since 2010.

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ST. LOUIS -- On a night when his longevity earned him a special spot in Major League history, Yadier Molina offered the spark the Cardinals sought as they halted a four-game losing streak and stalled the Cubs' division climb.

By the end of the evening, Molina's fingerprints were all over the Cardinals' 5-0 victory, one that prevented the Cubs from finishing off their first sweep at Busch Stadium since 2010.

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"Yadi did a great job driving today," manager Mike Matheny said. "He was fun to watch in every aspect today."

It was to be a notable night for Molina from the moment he got behind the plate. Sunday was his 1,756th at the position, tying him with Gabby Hartnett for the most games caught for one team in Major League history. Hartnett, a Hall of Famer, played 19 seasons for the Cubs. Molina is in his 15th season with the Cardinals.

"It's a [point of] pride," Molina said. "I thank God for giving me help to play this game. I've been happy to have been here since my first day, and I'm going to be happy to retire as a Cardinal because this organization means a lot to me and this city means a lot to me."

Molina showcased why he's become so beloved in St. Louis. He helped rookie starter Jack Flaherty navigate through five scoreless innings, and later erased a leadoff single by catching Willson Contreras trying to swipe second. Molina's mound visit to calm Flaherty during a bases-loaded jam in the third proved especially key.

Video: CHC@STL: Molina throws out Contreras at second

He grounded into a double play to push across the Cardinals' first run, and then padded the lead with an RBI double in the team's two-run eighth. It was the 340th double of Molina's career, moving him into sole possession of ninth place in franchise history.

"I've never seen anything like it, what he's able to do night in and night out from a catching standpoint," said Matt Carpenter. "There's no doubt we're a better team when he's behind the plate. What he's able to do from a pitch-calling standpoint, holding the running game and then, obviously, what kind of hitter he is, he's a huge part of our team."

With Molina igniting some life into a team that had dropped six of its last eight games at home, other pieces fell in place around him. Flaherty held the Cubs hitless in their six chances with runners in scoring position and improved to 4-1 with a 2.43 ERA since rejoining the rotation in mid-May.

The offense wasn't plentiful, but it was timely. Three straight singles to open the sixth positioned the Cardinals to break a scoreless game. And a club that ranked 26th in the Majors with 91 two-out RBIs added two insurance runs with two-out knocks -- including Carpenter's solo homer in the seventh.

Video: CHC@STL: Carpenter belts solo home run to deep right

Those, coupled with scoreless appearances from four relievers, prevented the Cubs from climbing back into the top spot in the National League Central. Chicago (40-28) sits a half-game back of Milwaukee (42-29), with third-place St. Louis (37-32) four games out of first.

"It doesn't matter who we're playing or what stage or situation, you want to win every single one," Flaherty said. "But to come out with a win in this one was huge. We had guys that really stepped up."

Video: CHC@STL: Hicks induces 6-4-3 DP to end top of 8th

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Things got complicated for Flaherty in the third when he issued a two-out walk to load the bases ahead of Kris Bryant. Flaherty then fell behind, 2-0, which prompted a visit from Molina.

Yes, they discussed how they'd approach Bryant through the rest of the at-bat. But mainly, Molina wanted Flaherty to pause. It worked. Bryant swung and missed at Flaherty's next three offerings to close the inning. The final pitch of the at-bat -- a 96.5 mph fastball -- was Flaherty's second-fastest pitch this year.

"[It was] Yadi going out and having a conversation and them figuring things out together," Matheny said. "Then having Jack reach back and show some special stuff."

Video: CHC@STL: Flaherty strikes out 7 over 5 shutout frames

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Right fielder Harrison Bader added to his season highlight reel with a gutsy throw that helped squash a Cubs rally in the fourth. Though he was unable to charge in quickly enough to catch Kyle Schwarber's bloop to shallow right with two on and no out, Bader barehanded the ball and, instead of taking the easy out at second, threw a laser to third to retire the lead runner. The throw was 90.5 mph, according to Statcast™. It was Bader's eighth-fastest throw of the season.

"There is no time to think on defense," said Bader, who leads all NL rookie outfielders with five assists. "And I think that's why I do a good job on that side of the ball. It's all reactionary. The first thing in any defensive play is to catch the ball. Then you pick yourself up, survey the field, and you have to trust yourself. That one had a lot of instincts involved. It worked out. "

Video: CHC@STL: Bader throws out Rizzo at third

HE SAID IT
"He really kept us off balance. His slider is really good; I didn't know what it was. It looks like a changeup from the side, and it sweeps. There's plenty of fastball. We've never seen him before. Give him credit; he did good." -- Cubs manager Joe Maddon, on Flaherty

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
With two outs in the Cardinals' seventh, Bader singled to left and tried to extend his hit. He was called out at second after a relay throw from Schwarber to second baseman Ben Zobrist. The Cardinals challenged the call, but it would stand after a review.

Video: CHC@STL: Schwarber throws out Bader, call stands

UP NEXT
The Cardinals take a break from Busch Stadium after a tough series against rival Chicago and head to Philadelphia to start a three-game set against the Phillies. Right-hander Miles Mikolas (7-2, 2.43 ERA) squares off against righty Nick Pivetta (4-6, 4.25) in Monday's 6:05 p.m. CT opener. Mikolas seeks redemption after a 4-2 loss to the Padres on Tuesday.

Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter, and Facebook.

St. Louis Cardinals, Jack Flaherty, Yadier Molina

Injury updates: Darvish, Teheran, Holland

MLB.com

Here's a roundup of the latest injury news across the Majors.

Yu Darvish and Javier Baez, Cubs

Here's a roundup of the latest injury news across the Majors.

Yu Darvish and Javier Baez, Cubs

With a pair of bullpen sessions already under his belt, Darvish is set to throw a simulated game June 19. Left-hander Mike Montgomery will once again start in place of Darvish, who has been out since May 26 due to a strained right triceps. More >

Baez, meanwhile, exited Sunday night's game after being plunked on the left elbow by Cardinals right-hander Jack Flaherty. After being replaced at shortstop by Addison Russell, Baez was eventually diagnosed with a contusion. Manager Joe Maddon indicated that he does not believe the injury to be serious, and Baez is considered day to day. More >

Video: CHC@STL: Baez exits after getting hit in the elbow

Julio Teheran, Braves

Teheran returned from the disabled list and tossed six no-hit innings with 11 strikeouts Sunday. His hamstring cramped up in the sixth inning, however. He limped off the field and did not return to the game.

"I wanted to stay in, but when I got to the dugout, I was still cramping and that's not a good sign," Teheran said. More >

Video: SD@ATL: Teheran, Snitker, Flowers on no-hit outing

Greg Holland, Cardinals

Holland is expected to be reinstated from the disabled list this week, according to Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, though a specific date for Holland's return was not provided. Holland's season-long struggles continued throughout his Minor League rehab assignment, and Matheny acknowledged that the veteran's results were "not ideal," though it seems the organization will allow Holland to attempt to sort things out at the Major League level. More >

Carlos Carrasco and Tyler Olson, Indians

The Indians placed Carrasco on the disabled list with a right elbow contusion Sunday.

Carrasco was originally diagnosed with a right forearm contusion after being struck by a line drive on Saturday, but X-rays revealed that the injury was to his elbow. He will be re-evaluated Monday morning.

Video: MIN@CLE: Indians place Carrasco on the 10-day DL

Olson was also placed on the 10-day disabled list with a left latissimus dorsi strain. More >

Jorge Soler, Royals

Soler was placed on the 10-day disabled list prior to Sunday's game against the Astros with a broken metatarsal bone in his left foot. He is expected to miss at least six weeks. More >

Video: HOU@KC: Soler fractures left first metatarsal

Jerad Eickhoff, Phillies

Eickhoff, who has not pitched this season, is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Tuesday in Philadelphia. He opened the season on the disabled list with a strained right lat, but he had a setback when he felt the same tingling and weakness in the fingertips of his right hand that ended his 2017 season during a rehab start. Four specialists ruled out thoracic outlet syndrome, which could have required a rib to be surgically removed.

Eickhoff said doctors seem confident that the inflammation in his right wrist can be addressed with the injection and anti-inflammatories, but no one will truly know until he gets on the mound and starts throwing again. More >

Jimmy Nelson, Zach Davies and Wade Miley, Brewers

Sunday marked one month since Nelson's check-up with the doctor who performed his shoulder surgery, and Nelson told Milwaukee radio station 105.7 FM The Fan that "it's trending in the right direction right now."

There is still no timetable for Nelson to throw off a mound or return to the Brewers' rotation, because those benchmarks all depend on his repaired right shoulder. He is working back toward throwing 150 feet on flat ground, the distance he was at leading up to a shutdown period before and after a visit with Dr. Neal ElAttrache.

Davies will begin another Minor League rehab assignment on Tuesday at Triple-A Colorado Springs, while Miley will join Double-A Biloxi later in the week as both starting pitchers work back from injuries.

Davies, in his second stint on the 10-day DL for right rotator cuff inflammation, is expected to make at least three starts in the Minors this time. Miley, who is on the 60-day DL with a strained right oblique, will probably pitch four times in the Minors, since he is not eligible for reinstatement until July 9. More >

Kurt Suzuki, Braves

Suzuki exited Sunday afternoon's game against the Padres for precautionary reasons after getting hit in the head by Raffy Lopez's backswing to end the second inning. Suzuki was evaluated and is day to day. More >

Video: SD@ATL: Suzuki injured by backswing and exits game

Whit Merrifield, Royals

Merrifield left Sunday's series finale against the Astros in the second inning after fouling a pitch off his left knee. He was diagnosed with a contusion and is day to day. More >

Video: KC@HOU: Merrifield leaves after fouling ball off knee

Shelby Miller, D-backs

In his latest rehab start for Class A Advanced Visalia on Saturday, the right-hander tossed 6 2/3 scoreless innings. He struck out 10 and walked none, throwing 81 pitches.

"He's getting close," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. "With these outings and the feedback he's giving us, he's telling us that he's getting closer every day."

Lovullo said Miller, who had Tommy John surgery last May, is headed back to Arizona, where the athletic training staff will assess him. The staff will formulate a plan for his next steps, which Lovullo will know more about Monday when the D-backs are in Anaheim. More >

Tom Koehler, Clayton Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu, Dodgers

Koehler suffered a setback in his recovery from a right anterior capsule sprain of the shoulder and an expected return was pushed back to August, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Sunday. Koehler was nearing a rehab appearance when he threw a curveball this week and felt discomfort. He has been out since sustaining what was originally termed a mild sprain in his first Spring Training appearance.

Kershaw (lower back strain) threw on flat ground Sunday and still is expected to throw a simulated game Tuesday or Wednesday in Los Angeles.

Ryu had a Saturday bullpen session cut short at 20 pitches when he felt a little tightness in his strained groin, but Roberts did not call it a setback. More >

Nick Vincent, Juan Nicasio and Chris Herrmann, Mariners

Vincent, on the 10-day disabled list for the past three weeks with a strained right groin, will begin a Minor League rehab stint with Triple-A Tacoma on Monday and could be back with the team by next weekend in Boston. Vincent will pitch two rehab outings, with the second one slated for Double-A Arkansas on Wednesday, before being re-evaluated, according to manager Scott Servais.

Nicasio is also on the disabled list with a swollen right knee that has sidelined him for 10 days, but he threw live batting practice without issue on Saturday and the plan remains intact for him to come off the DL on Tuesday in New York.

Herrmann, who went on the DL on May 30 with a strained right oblique after playing one game for Seattle, is midway through a rehab stint with Tacoma and also could be activated soon. More >

Felix's son throws Father's Day first pitch

Three years ago, the Mariners celebrated Father's Day with a special ceremonial first pitch, delivered by kids of players on the roster that afternoon. One of those children was Jeremy Hernandez, Felix Hernandez's eldest son. He looked good. 

Fast-forward to the present day, and an older Lil' King Felix took the Safeco Field mound for another Father's Day pitch before the Mariners' 9-3 loss to the Red Sox on Sunday afternoon. This time, he was wearing a full Mariners uniform, just like his dad.

Bullpen of the Week: Rays

Relievers combine for 1.48 ERA over 30 1/3 innings to earn honor
MLB.com @MannyOnMLB

As the Rays continue to employ an unorthodox bullpen strategy by utilizing relievers as starters in many games, Tampa Bay's relief corps posted a 1.48 ERA over 30 1/3 innings last week to earn MLB Bullpen of the Week presented by The Hartford honors for the period of June 11-17.

As part of The Hartford Prevailing Moments program, each Monday throughout the 2018 season, MLB.com is honoring baseball's best bullpen from the previous week. An industry-wide panel of MLB experts, including legendary stats guru Bill James, constructed a metric based on James' widely renowned game-score formula, to provide a weekly measurement of team-bullpen performance.

As the Rays continue to employ an unorthodox bullpen strategy by utilizing relievers as starters in many games, Tampa Bay's relief corps posted a 1.48 ERA over 30 1/3 innings last week to earn MLB Bullpen of the Week presented by The Hartford honors for the period of June 11-17.

As part of The Hartford Prevailing Moments program, each Monday throughout the 2018 season, MLB.com is honoring baseball's best bullpen from the previous week. An industry-wide panel of MLB experts, including legendary stats guru Bill James, constructed a metric based on James' widely renowned game-score formula, to provide a weekly measurement of team-bullpen performance.

Here's how the Bullpen Rating System is compiled for each week. For reference, a weekly score of 100 is considered outstanding:

• Add 1.5 points for each out recorded
• Add 1.5 points for each strikeout
• Add 5 points for a save
• Subtract 2 points for each hit allowed
• Subtract 4 points for each earned run allowed
• Subtract 2 points for each unearned run allowed
• Subtract 1 point for each walk
• Subtract 5 points for a blown save

Tampa Bay's bullpen finished the week with a score of 118. The Astros' relief corps finished second, with a score of 105, and the Dodgers finished at 103.5.

Veteran right-hander Sergio Romo, who has started five games this season, led the way with three scoreless relief appearances during the week, giving up one hit while walking one and striking out four over three innings. Romo picked up two saves in the process.

Meanwhile, right-hander Chaz Roe added 3 1/3 scoreless frames, including two in Sunday's 3-1 victory over the Yankees in New York. Over that span, Roe surrendered just one hit, while walking one and fanning three. Rookie right-hander Diego Castillo also was stellar during the week, appearing in four games and tossing four scoreless innings. He gave up three hits and struck out six.

The unexpected: In Sunday's victory over the Yankees, Wilmer Font started and escaped early trouble in the first inning. He proceeded to retire 10 of the next 12 batters he faced before Aaron Hicks got New York on the board with a solo homer with two outs in the fifth. Jose Alvarado came on in relief and walked both Aaron Judge and Didi Gregorius to put the tying run at first base.

How they prevailed: Alvarado faced slugger Giancarlo Stanton and struck him out to end the threat. In the bottom of the sixth, Greg Bird opened with a single, prompting Rays manager Kevin Cash to again turn to the bullpen. Roe came on and got Gary Sanchez to fly out, then followed that by getting Miguel Andujar to ground into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play.

Roe pitched a scoreless seventh, and Castillo came in to pitch a scoreless eighth, working around a leadoff infield single by Gregorius. Romo took the ball in the ninth, and after striking out Andujar, issued a walk to Neil Walker. Gleyber Torres, who entered the contest with 13 homers since May 4, came to the plate as the tying run. Romo struck him out swinging, then got Hicks to pop out to end the game.

Video: TB@NYY: Romo retires Hicks and records the save

Manny Randhawa is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @MannyOnMLB.

Tampa Bay Rays

Here is the best game every day this week

Astros seek 12th straight win; Mariners face Yanks, Red Sox
MLB.com @RichardJustice

We see it in their dugouts and postgame celebrations. No two teams are having more fun than the Mariners and Astros right now. We admit we didn't think the American League West race would be this good.

To put it bluntly, we didn't think the Mariners were good enough to hang with the Astros. And yet here we are with both teams on pace to win 100 games and possibly fight for a division championship.

We see it in their dugouts and postgame celebrations. No two teams are having more fun than the Mariners and Astros right now. We admit we didn't think the American League West race would be this good.

To put it bluntly, we didn't think the Mariners were good enough to hang with the Astros. And yet here we are with both teams on pace to win 100 games and possibly fight for a division championship.

The Astros lead the Mariners by 1 1/2 games despite finishing a 10-0 road trip on Sunday with a 7-4 victory in Kansas City. They've won 11 in a row overall and will try to tie the Houston franchise record of 12 straight wins on Monday night at Minute Maid Park against the Rays.

Meanwhile, the Mariners have been crazy good for more than a month -- 22-7 since May 18 after Sunday's 9-3 loss to the Red Sox at Safeco Field. They're winning one-run games at a historic pace -- 13 of 16 and 23-10 overall. Their bullpen has been spectacularly good.

Video: Must C Clutch: Span caps Mariners' terrific comeback

Here's the thing about a team like the Mariners, a team that began the season with a touch of uncertainty concerning how good it was after a disappointing 78-84 record in 2017.

As they've kept winning and seamlessly absorbed the loss of their best player, Robinson Cano, to suspension, their confidence has soared. These are dangerous teams for the rest of baseball.

It's logical to argue that winning a historically high percentage of one-run games isn't sustainable, and history says it's not. But if you're the team winning those games, you say they're a tribute to grit and determination and resilience. That's what the Rangers said in 2016 when they were 36-11 in one-run games, and like the Orioles (29-9) in '12.

The Astros and Mariners don't play each other until July 30 when they go at it seven times in a two-week period. Until then, they can continue to shadow one another from afar.

So in picking the best game each day this week, the AL West leaders will be getting the nod:

Monday: Rays at Astros (8:10 p.m. ET, MLB.TV)
The Astros return to Minute Maid Park for a nine-game homestand against the Rays, Royals and Blue Jays after the best road trip in franchise history. They're 10 for 10 since beginning a stretch of 36 straight games against teams below .500.

Tuesday: Mariners at Yankees (7:05 p.m. ET, MLB.TV)
For the Mariners, this is the start of a three-city, 10-game road trip to play the Yankees, Red Sox and Orioles. The Mariners have lost back-to-back games once since May 18 and have had four walk-off celebrations. Meanwhile, the Yankees have won 13 of 17 and are in a virtual tie with the Red Sox in the AL East.

Video: Must C Combo: Stanton, Sanchez hit back-to-back HRs

Wednesday: Dodgers at Cubs (2:20 p.m. ET, MLB Network, MLB.TV)
This is a matchup of two teams that appear headed for the postseason after slow starts. The Dodgers have overcome a laundry list of injuries and a 16-26 start to win 21 of 28 overall and 11 of 14 this month. Super utility man Max Muncy has been one of the most pleasant surprises of the season. As for the Cubs, they've rushed back into the mix in the National League Central after falling 4 1/2 out in late May.

Thursday: Cardinals at Brewers (8:10 p.m. ET, MLB.TV)
This suddenly is an important series for the Cardinals, who've had a tough week and are trying to keep the Brewers and Cubs within shouting distance in the NL Central. Meanwhile, the Brewers have lost eight of 14 this month.

Video: PHI@MIL: Thames clobbers a homer to right in the 1st

Friday: Mariners at Red Sox (7:10 p.m. ET, MLB.TV)
The Mariners attempt to keep the magic going against a team that has been atop the AL East for 62 games and appears to have few weaknesses. If there's any suspense around the Red Sox, it might be whether J.D. Martinez or Mookie Betts will get closer to Mike Trout in the AL MVP balloting.

Saturday: Padres at Giants (4:05 p.m. ET, MLB.TV)
The Giants believed getting Madison Bumgarner back might be the spark they needed. That might be the case at some point, but with Evan Longoria, Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija on the disabled list, they've fallen behind the D-backs, Dodgers and Rockies in the NL West.

Sunday: Phillies at Nationals (8:05 p.m. ET, ESPN)
The Nationals remain solid favorites to win the NL East, but injuries have kept them from overtaking the Braves. The Phillies have won five of seven since a 1-7 slide.

Video: Soto youngest with 2-HR game since Andruw Jones

Richard Justice has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2011. Read his columns, listen to his podcast and follow him on Twitter at @RichardJustice.

Correa, Gattis boost Astros to 11th straight W

Gattis logs go-ahead single for sweep of Royals, 10-0 road trip
MLB.com @brianmctaggart

KANSAS CITY -- There was star shortstop Carlos Correa igniting an eighth-inning rally with a homer, Tyler White coming off the bench in the eighth and hitting a key double on the first pitch, and a suddenly stingy relief corps slamming the door.

When you're on an incredible run like the Astros, the heroes are numerous and come from every corner of the clubhouse.

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KANSAS CITY -- There was star shortstop Carlos Correa igniting an eighth-inning rally with a homer, Tyler White coming off the bench in the eighth and hitting a key double on the first pitch, and a suddenly stingy relief corps slamming the door.

When you're on an incredible run like the Astros, the heroes are numerous and come from every corner of the clubhouse.

View Full Game Coverage

Correa drove in three runs, including his game-tying leadoff homer in the eighth, and relievers Tony Sipp, Ken Giles and Hector Rondon combined to throw three hitless innings to seal the Astros' 11th consecutive win, 7-4, over the Royals on Sunday afternoon at Kauffman Stadium.

"The winning streak is great, man," Correa said. "We're on a long road trip and away from our families for 10 days; winning every single game makes it a lot better. Hopefully we can go home and keep grinding and keep playing the way we've been playing."

Morning Lineup Podcast looks at Astros' streak

With the win, the Astros (48-25) completed a 10-0 road trip through Texas, Oakland and Kansas City and improved to a Major League-best 29-11 on the road. The win was only the Astros' third this season (3-21) when trailing after seven innings. They join the Indians (11-0 in 2017), A's and Mariners (both 10-0 in 2002), Braves (10-0 in 1992), Reds (12-0 in 1957) and Yankees (14-0 in 1953) as the only clubs with unbeaten road trips of 10 or more games since 1953.

Video: HOU@KC: Altuve turns athletic DP to help seal win

"This was incredible, just by the way we played and the way we completed games," manager AJ Hinch said. "Obviously, winning every game is incredible. We did it in a lot of different ways, so we want to keep the same intent and same mentality we've been playing with. It's been pretty remarkable. It's hard to put into words. It's been somebody different every night. We've had good pitching, we've played good defense, we've rallied late, we've blown guys out early."

During the streak, the Astros have outscored their opponents, 81-40, and reached double-digit hits nine times, including seven games in a row. They've scored at least six runs in seven consecutive games, matching the third-longest streak in club history.

"Nobody knows what's going to happen, you still have to hit a ball, but I take confidence in our lineup versus anybody," said designated hitter Evan Gattis, who's hitting .386 with six homers and 21 RBIs during the streak.

Video: HOU@KC: Gattis delivers go-ahead single in the 8th

Correa homered to left off reliever Brandon Maurer and Gattis (3-for-4) and Marwin Gonzalez added RBI hits off lefty Tim Hill to give Houston a 6-4 lead. Correa's sacrifice fly in the ninth gave him three RBIs. The Astros were 6-for-15 with runners in scoring position.

"When we're right, we keep coming at you and make you get your 27 outs," Hinch said. "Even when the game was getting towards the end and we know they have [closer Kelvin Herrera] at the back end, the game was starting to tilt in their favor a little bit, we had no quit in us. Correa hits the big home run and all of a sudden, the at-bats piled up on them."

Astros starter Lance McCullers Jr. allowed four runs (two earned) and struck out nine in six innings, sending down 10 of the final 12 batters he faced, including striking out the side in the fifth inning. He said it may have been his "best stuff of the year."

Video: HOU@KC: McCullers makes an athletic barehanded play

"Overall, I felt like the team played really hard, I felt like I threw the ball really well and still gave us a chance to win," he said. "I really made one bad pitch [a two-run homer by Hunter Dozier in the third that put the Royals up, 4-2], and he hit it out of the park. That was really the day."

SOUND SMART
The Astros have scored 135 runs in the seventh inning or later, surpassing the Cubs (132) for most in the Major Leagues.

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Gonzalez made a 95.9-mph throw from left field, according to Statcast™, to get Mike Moustakas at the plate in the third inning. Moustakas was trying to score from second on a single by Salvador Perez. The Royals challenged the call, but the call was ruled to stand.

Video: HOU@KC: Gonzalez flashes arm with 95.9-mph throw home

"I was just hoping that was an out," Gonzalez said. "I thought they were going to overturn it, but they didn't. I felt good. Any time I can help on defense, it makes you feel good."

HE SAID IT
"What a day for him. He showed up, took his sweatshirt off, swung at the first pitch, doubled, I pinch-ran for him. What a life." -- Hinch, on White, who doubled in the eighth off the bench

UP NEXT
Right-hander Gerrit Cole will take the mound as the Astros return home to face the Rays at 7:10 p.m. CT on Monday at Minute Maid Park. Cole leads the American League in strikeouts per nine innings (12.49), ranks third in WHIP (0.88), fourth in ERA, second in opponents' batting average (.175) and third in opponents' OPS (.558). Ryne Stanek will get the start in the Rays' third consecutive bullpen day. He last pitched on Saturday, going 1 1/3 innings without allowing a run against the Yankees.

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

Houston Astros, Carlos Correa, Evan Gattis, Lance McCullers Jr.