Royals' Guillen shut down for the year

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Jose Guillen told Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportes.com that he will miss the rest of the season:


“I won’t play anymore for the rest of the season to recover well
from the injury,” Guillen told Rojas Saturday on the phone from Kansas
City.

“It’s a team decision, I feel bad sitting down while my teammates are playing hard on the field,” he added in a text message.

Guillen just returned from the disabled this week after missing six weeks due to a torn ligament in his right knee, but he left Wednesday’s game against the Athletics with pain in his right hamstring.

The 33-year-old outfielder has been a massive disappointment this
season, batting just .242/.314/.367 with nine homers and 40 RBI. Two
lengthy stints on the disabled list have limited him to just 81 games.
It’s no surprise that the Royals find themselves second to last in the AL in runs scored and home runs.

While it’s been a down season for Guillen any way you slice it, perhaps the most troubling aspect is his regression against southpaws.

Entering the season, Guillen had the following splits:

.281/.334/.482 vs. LHP

.270/.318/.433 vs. RHP

In fact, Guillen had recently earned the reputation of owning left-handers, hitting
them to the tune of .330/.394/.593 since the start of the 2007 season,
however, 2009 has been a very different story:

.181/.245/.309 with four home runs and 9 RBI vs. LHP

.273/.348/.396 with five home runs and 31 RBI vs. RHP

As always, beware of small sample sizes (he had only 99 at-bats
against southpaws in 2009), but coupled with his rapid deterioration,
the Royals have every reason to be wary as they prepare to pay him $12
million in 2010.

Astros push ALCS to Game 7 with 7-1 stunner against Yankees

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There’s just something about playing in your home ballpark. The Astros decimated the Yankees at Minute Maid Park on Friday, riding seven scoreless innings from Justin Verlander and a pair of big runs from Jose Altuve to win 7-1 and force a Game 7 in the American League Championship Series.

Through the first four innings, however, the teams looked equally matched. Luis Severino no-hit the Astros through 3 2/3 innings, losing his bid on Carlos Correa‘s line drive single in the fourth. The Astros returned in the fifth to do some real damage, drawing two walks and plating the first run of the night with Brian McCann‘s ground-rule double off of the right field wall. Things didn’t get any easier for Severino. Jose Altuve lined a two-RBI base hit into left field, upping Houston’s advantage to three runs.

Verlander, meanwhile, muted the Yankees’ offense with seven innings of five-hit, eight-strikeout ball. While he didn’t come close to matching his complete game effort in Game 2, he was still plenty dominant against a struggling New York lineup. No player reached past first base until the sixth inning, when a pair of base hits from Chase Headley and Didi Gregorius gave the Yankees their first runner in scoring position. That didn’t last long, though, as Gary Sanchez grounded out on a 3-0 slider to end the inning.

In the seventh, Houston’s ace got into another spot of trouble. He walked Greg Bird on six pitches to start the inning, then plunked Starlin Castro on the wrist. Aaron Hicks struck out, in part thanks to a questionable call by home plate umpire Jim Reynolds, but it was Todd Frazier who presented the biggest threat after returning an 0-1 fastball for a 403-foot fly out to left field. Luckily for Verlander, George Springer was there to bail him out with a leaping catch at the wall.

The Yankees kept things exciting in the eighth, too. Aaron Judge ripped his third postseason home run off of Brad Peacock, taking a 425-footer out to the train in left field to spoil the Astros’ shutout. That was the only real break the Yankees got, however, as Altuve, Alex Bregman and Evan Gattis returned in the bottom of the inning to tack on another four runs, including Altuve’s solo shot off of David Robertson:

Ken Giles handled the ninth, expending 23 pitches and giving up a base hit and a walk before retiring Frazier and Headley to end the game. Thanks to Houston’s winning efforts, the two teams will compete in their first seven-game Championship Series since 2004 — and this time, at least one of them is guaranteed to come away with a win.

Game 7 of the ALCS is set for Saturday at 8:00 PM ET. Houston right-hander Charlie Morton (14-7, 3.62 ERA) is scheduled to face southpaw CC Sabathia (14-5, 3.69 ERA).