Jeff Kent on “Survivor” recap: “I can control some people”

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I watched Jeff Kent on “Survivor” last night so you didn’t have to …

• As hinted at last week Kent aligned himself with tribe-mate Jonathan, who has possession of the hidden immunity idol. And they also brought in a third tribe-mate, Carter, in order to have a stronger alliance with more voting power. Or as Kent put it: “I can control some people.”

• During the weekly immunity challenge Kent came through in the clutch again, this time smashing pots that were perched atop columns by throwing “wrecking balls” tied to a rope. It wasn’t totally unlike the throwing motion used to underhand a double-play ball to a shortstop, at least if you’re like me and need to equate everything he does to baseball in order to make yourself feel better about watching the show.

• As the immunity challenge wound down Kent and a contestant from another tribe, Malcolm, were basically neck and neck hurriedly swinging their wrecking balls. Kent smashed his final pot before Malcolm, allowing his tribe to finish in second place and avoid having to boot someone.

• On the “next time on ‘Survivor’ …” preview Kent was shown rubbing his injured knee, which has a brace on it. And then the footage cut to a medical boat coming to the island and showed several contestants making “wow” faces while harrowing music played, followed by host Jeff Probst saying, “The only time medical gets involved is when someone’s life is in danger.”

• So based on all of that, I guess we’re meant to believe that Kent’s knee injury, which he suffered five minutes into the first episode and had seemingly ceased being a storyline, has now put his life in danger. Or, more likely, that’s the only thing the “Survivor” producers could think of to hype next week’s show.

Astros’ bullpen throws combined one-hitter for MLB-best 30th win

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The Astros’ bullpen did yeoman’s work in place of the injured Dallas Keuchel on Monday against the Tigers. Keuchel is temporarily sidelined with a pinched nerve in his neck.

Brad Peacock made the spot start, limiting the Tigers to one hit and two walks with eight strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings. Chris Devenski took over with one out in the fifth, finishing out that inning as well as the sixth and seventh, facing the minimum. Will Harris pitched a perfect eighth and Ken Giles closed out the 1-0 victory in the ninth. Devenski, Harris, and Giles each had two strikeouts.

The Astros scored their only run in the bottom of the first inning as George Springer drew a leadoff walk, then scored on Jose Altuve‘s one-out double. Tigers starter Brad Fulmer pitched well enough to win on most days, giving up the lone run in seven frames.

After Monday’s win, the Astros became the first team to reach 30 wins, sitting on a 30-15 record. With a +55 run differential, even their expected record matches up with their actual record.

Brandon Phillips hit his 200th career home run

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Braves second baseman Brandon Phillips became the 337th player in baseball history to hit 200 career home runs, driving a solo home run to left-center field during Monday night’s home game against the Pirates. Phillips is the 14th second baseman (who played a min. of 75 percent of his career games at the position) to rack up at least 200 career home runs.

Phillips, 35, entered Monday’s action batting .290/.345/.405 with two home runs and 12 RBI in 142 plate appearances. If he’s anything, he’s consistent, as he finished with an adjusted OPS between 90-99 (100 is average) every year between 2012-16 and it was sitting at 97 coming into Monday.