Brewers manager Ken Macha suggested for the first time Wednesday that Trevor Hoffman might not be the best fit for the club’s ninth-inning role. The suggestion, via MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy, came moments after the 42-year-old right-hander blew his fourth save of the regular season, leading to a 14-inning 6-5 loss to the Pirates.
“That’s two days
in a row for him,” said Macha. “Tomorrow, if we have a chance to win it, perhaps it
will be somebody else at the end.”
If Hoffman does indeed lose the job, Carlos Villanueva or LaTroy Hawkins would likely fill in. Villanueva, 26, is a converted starter with a 0.00 ERA and 0.75 WHIP through 12 innings this season. Hawkins is a 15-year veteran with 87 career saves.
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.