Braves ink Diaz to one-year deal

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Matt Diaz.jpgMatt Diaz avoided arbitration by signing a one-year, $2.55 million contract with the Braves, reports MLB.com. He earned $1.2375 million in 2009.



Diaz, who turns 32 in March, batted
.313/.390/.488 in ’09, establishing career-highs with 13 home runs and
58 RBI. Only six National League outfielders with at least 350 plate
appearances were better than his .878 OPS. He crushed left-handed
pitching to the tune of .412/.464/.640 with a 1.103 OPS in 136 at-bats.
It’s a mystery how Garret Anderson managed to get 100 more at-bats than
Diaz.




Though he’s a better weapon against
lefties, and still hasn’t found a stable position on the diamond, Diaz
has at least earned consideration for an every day job next season.




With Diaz resolved, the Braves’ only
remaining arbitration-eligible players are infielder Kelly Johnson,
left-hander Boone Logan and right-hander Peter Moylan.

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.