Pedro Alvarez to be called up soon

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Thumbnail image for pedro alvarez.jpgThey keep losing baseball games, but at least something interesting is happening in Pittsburgh: interesting young players keep getting called up.

The latest will be Pedro Alvarez, who Pirates GM Neal Huntington indicated yesterday could be promoted this week. He’s earned it: Alvarez is hitting .285/.370/.549 with 13 homers and 52 RBI for Indianapolis, and he has improved his most glaring weakness, which is vulnerability to lefties.

Huntington says that when Alvarez comes up he’ll take Andy LaRoche’s job at third, with LaRoche moving into a utility role. There’s some question as to how long he’ll last at third, however. He’s a big fella and none too quick, so he may be a first baseman or a left fielder going forward.

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.