Josh Hamilton banged up again

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josh hamilton headshot rangers.jpgIf it wasn’t for bad luck Josh Hamilton wouldn’t have no luck at all:

Hamilton was diagnosed with a bruise on his left hand after getting hit
by a pitch Monday night in a Cactus League game against the San
Francisco Giants. Preliminary X-rays were negative and he will be
re-evaluated Tuesday.

“Somebody is after me,” said Hamilton, who had to deal with a bruised
left shoulder earlier this spring. “Watch out, boys, don’t stand too
close to me.”

Add this to the banged up shoulder from a couple of weeks ago and his back, groin, and rib injuries from 2009.

Perhaps if he were to return the tiki idol he found to the Hawaiian burial grounds the tabu would be broken.  In the meantime, Josh, for God’s sake, don’t go surfing.

Astros clinch postseason berth with 11-3 win over Angels

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No surprise here: The Astros are headed back to the postseason to defend their title following a landslide 11-3 win over the Angels on Friday. This figures to be their third playoff run since 2015, though they have yet to wrap up the AL West with a division title.

First baseman Yuli Gurriel led the charge on Friday, smashing a grand slam in the first inning and tacking on a two-run homer in the second and RBI single in the fifth to help the Astros to a seven-run lead. The Angels eventually returned fire, first with Mike Trout‘s 418-foot homer in the sixth, then with an RBI hit from Francisco Arcia in the seventh, but they couldn’t close the gap in time to overtake the Astros.

On the mound, right-hander Gerrit Cole clinched his 15th win of the year after holding the Angels to seven innings of three-run, 12-strikeout ball. His sixth strikeout of the night — delivered on an 83.1-MPH knuckle curveball to Kaleb Cowart — also marked the 1,000th strikeout of his career to date. He was backed by flawless performances by lefty reliever Tony Sipp and rookie right-hander Dean Deetz, both of whom turned in scoreless innings as the offense barreled toward an 11-3 finish with Jake Marisnick‘s sac bunt and George Springer‘s three-run shot in the eighth.

Despite having qualified for the playoffs, the Astros still carry a magic number of 6 as they look to clinch a third straight division title. They’re currently up against the Athletics, who entered Friday’s contest against the Twins just four games back of first place in the AL West.