Report: Mauer will set deadline for extension talks

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A source told Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan that Joe Mauer will set an Opening Day deadline for extension talks with the Twins.
If a multiyear deal cannot be completed by the end of spring training and the report holds true, Mauer would become a free agent after next season.
Twins GM Bill Smith hasn’t seemed to give any consideration to the idea of trading Mauer. The 26-year-old is in line for one of the biggest contracts in baseball history, but he is a Minnesota native and he’s indicated a willingness to stay with the Twins if the team can keep itself in a position to contend annually.
The Twins, though, probably wouldn’t have much chance of retaining Mauer if he hits the open market. It could well be the fiercest free agent showdown between the Yankees and Red Sox to date. Realistically, the Twins will have to sign Mauer to a huge extension, perhaps one with an opt-out clause after two or three years, this winter if they intend to have him around in 2011.

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.