The Feds sue Arizona over the immigration law; 2011 All-Star Game likely saved

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As we have reported ad nausuem, the new Arizona immigration law has created a ruckus in baseball
circles.  Most of that ruckus has surrounded the 2011 All-Star Game, scheduled for Chase Field. Multiple players have gone on record against the law with some — including the Padres’ Adrian Gonzalez — saying that they’d boycott the game if the law was in effect.

Today comes a new development along those lines: the U.S. Justice Department has filed a lawsuit challenging the law an unlawful usurpation of federal power. This will do absolutely nothing to calm the general controversy over the law. Quite the opposite, actually, as lawsuits tend to focus the ire of partisans on both sides of a given issue.

But is should solve baseball’s little P.R. problem.  That’s because the feds are asking for an injunction suspending implementation of the law until the lawsuit is decided. Such injunctions are almost always granted, especially with respect to laws — like this one — that aren’t even in force yet.

The lawsuit is likely to last a long damn time.  Certainly longer than a year, which will give baseball plenty of time to get the 2011 All-Star Game in while giving all sides the chance to say “it’s in the courts, play ball.” The game will happen and baseball will set its sights on Kansas City in 2012.

Now let’s talk about what truly matters: who manages the 2011 NL All-Stars given that 2010 World Series champ manager Bobby Cox will be retired?

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.