Giants, Mota agree to minors contract

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San Francisco’s mediocre middle relief stockpile continues…
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The Giants agreed to terms Tuesday on a minor league contract with reliever Guillermo Mota, according to Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News.  GM Brian Sabean and Co. have now inked three unimpressive relievers to minor league contracts within the past 48 hours.  (See also: Byung-Hyun Kim and Horacio Ramirez).

Mota, 36, posted a respectable 3.44 ERA and 1.18 WHIP last season in 65 1/3 innings of work for the Dodgers.  He has almost always had control problems and has lost some substantial zip on his once high-90s fastball.  But, as Baggarly notes, there is a best-case scenario:

If he makes the club and has a similar year for the Giants, he’d be an
able replacement for Bob Howry, who signed with the Diamondbacks.

Mota’s deal includes an invitation to spring training, where he’s likely to earn a spot in middle relief.

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.