UPDATE: Jayson Werth is out of the lineup again

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Charlie Manuel headshot.jpgUPDATE: Snipping, sniping, whatever: Jayson Werth is sitting for a second straight day.  Ben Francisco gets the call in right against Josh Johnson and the Marlins.

Not sure I’d read a ton into this. Werth is only 3 for 11 against Johnson with zero extra base hits, so maybe he’s not the right guy for Werth to break out of a slump against, ya know?

12:11 P.M: Charlie Manuel, when asked if he thinks Jayson Werth’s struggles have anything to do with this being his big free agency year:

“I think something like that has to. It has to. I definitely think that. I
think everyone is like that. Even if a guy is quiet, I know it does. I
know in his mind that he thinks like that. He really got off to a
tremendous start and when things started going a little bad for him, he
thinks about it. But he’s going to be fine.”

Jayson Werth’s response:

“I don’t think anybody can sit there and say what I’m thinking. I play hard every night. I hustle. I play to win. Thinking about
my contract is the last thing on my mind.”

“Say, don’t get sore, see.” Charlie Manuel probably said afterward, diffusing the situation.

Werth sat out for the second time in a week last night.  The Marlins won’t be around every day to give victories away, so he had best get on the stick if the Phillies are to break out of their funk.

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.