Russell Branyan will be starting at first base for the Tribe

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Branyan finally inked his deal with the Indians today, and Manny Acta anointed him the starting first baseman:

Russell Branyan passed his physical today and officially became the
Indians starting first baseman. That’s right he’ll be starting at first
base.
“He’s going to get the majority of playing time,” said manager Manny Acta. “We didn’t sign him to be a backup guy.

I figured that Branyan would have been more of a super-ute, spelling LaPorta early as he comes back from his injury, covering some left, maybe covering some third, but I guess not.  This should shift Matt LaPorta to leftfield and Michael Brantley to Columbus.

Which, while probably not what he had hoped for, he should like all the same. Columbus is way less depressing a city than Cleveland is.

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.