Rumors, rumors, rumors

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They’re starting to fly like crazy, so we may as well throw them out there like so much pasta at so many walls:

The Brewers are supposedly “serious players” for Halladay.
I’m not buying it. For one thing, they went that route last year with
Sabathia and I doubt they’d do it again. For another, the rumor comes
from Jon Heyman and he’s pretty much always wrong.

Nick Cardafo of the Boston Globe
thinks that Theo Epstein’s little moves yesterday with LaRoche and
Duncan suggests that he’s going to make a play for Halladay. Maybe so.
Maybe it wouldn’t be a bad idea for him to try and turn Clay Buchholz
into a big bat while his value is still high, too, because based on his
first couple of big league starts he looks like he has nibbler’s
disease.

Morosi has a bunch of stuff:
The Indians may trade Cliff Lee to the Rays, though it could take a
three-way trade to make that happen. The Twins could use infield help
and may be thinking Orlando Cabrera or one of the Pirates’ guys.
Finally, it appears that no one is all that interested in Matt
Holliday. My guess is that he’s going to be acquired in exchange for
some magic beans right before the deadline next Friday, because the A’s
probably need the couple of million he’s owed more than they need the
draft pick he’d bring when he walks after ths season.

As always, these rumors are guaranteed to be 100% dicey, doubtful and dubious, or your money back!

Astros clinch postseason berth with 11-3 win over Angels

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No surprise here: The Astros are headed back to the postseason to defend their title following a landslide 11-3 win over the Angels on Friday. This figures to be their third playoff run since 2015, though they have yet to wrap up the AL West with a division title.

First baseman Yuli Gurriel led the charge on Friday, smashing a grand slam in the first inning and tacking on a two-run homer in the second and RBI single in the fifth to help the Astros to a seven-run lead. The Angels eventually returned fire, first with Mike Trout‘s 418-foot homer in the sixth, then with an RBI hit from Francisco Arcia in the seventh, but they couldn’t close the gap in time to overtake the Astros.

On the mound, right-hander Gerrit Cole clinched his 15th win of the year after holding the Angels to seven innings of three-run, 12-strikeout ball. His sixth strikeout of the night — delivered on an 83.1-MPH knuckle curveball to Kaleb Cowart — also marked the 1,000th strikeout of his career to date. He was backed by flawless performances by lefty reliever Tony Sipp and rookie right-hander Dean Deetz, both of whom turned in scoreless innings as the offense barreled toward an 11-3 finish with Jake Marisnick‘s sac bunt and George Springer‘s three-run shot in the eighth.

Despite having qualified for the playoffs, the Astros still carry a magic number of 6 as they look to clinch a third straight division title. They’re currently up against the Athletics, who entered Friday’s contest against the Twins just four games back of first place in the AL West.