Ibanez playing through abdominal tear that may require surgery

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Amid speculation that Chase Utley is playing through a foot injury, Lee Jenkins of Sports Illustrated reports that Raul Ibanez may need offseason surgery to repair a small muscle tear near his abdomen.
For the most part Ibanez has followed in Utley’s footsteps by refusing to speak about his health with the media, but Jenkins notes that he initially suffered the injury in June and opted against going under the knife after consulting with a surgeon and a neuromuscular specialist.
Ibanez was having a career-year at the time, hitting .312/.371/.656 with 22 homers and 59 RBIs in 62 games, but following a brief stint on the disabled list he finished the season by hitting just .232/.323/.448 with 12 homers and 34 RBIs in 72 games and has gone just 7-for-31 (.225) with one homer in nine playoff games.
Ibanez has predictably downplayed the injury, but saying stuff like “I’m fine right now” and “we’ll see what happens” can certainly be taken as hints that offseason surgery is on the docket for the 37-year-old and he’s still owed $11.5 million in each of the next two seasons.

Astros extend winning streak to 11 games

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The Astros rallied late to keep their winning streak alive, extending it to 11 games with a 7-4 victory over the Royals on Sunday afternoon. The club is now 48-25, leading the Mariners by a full game in the AL West.

The Royals took a 4-2 lead after three innings, but Brian McCann knocked in a run with a single in the top of the fourth to cut the deficit to one run. Carlos Correa hit a game-tying solo home run in the eighth. The Astros kept their foot on the gas, scoring two more runs on RBI singles from Evan Gattis and Marwin Gonzalez in the top of the eighth and another in the top of the ninth on Correa’s sacrifice fly.

Starter Lance McCullers allowed four runs (two earned) on six hits and two walks with nine strikeouts over six innings. Tony Sipp worked a scoreless seventh. Ken Giles did the same in the eighth. Hector Rondon finished off the win in the ninth, working around a one-out walk with a game-ending double play.

After winning all 10 games on their road trip against the Rangers, Athletics, and Royals, the Astros will head home for a nine-game homestand against the Rays, Royals, and Blue Jays. Each club is below .500.