Report: The Pirates are close to sending Paul Maholm to the Padres

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Though there are a couple of dissenters, multiple other sources are reporting that the Pirates and Padres are nearing a deal for Pirates’ started Paul Maholm. Tim Brown at Yahoo! just said that the teams were “close.”

I”m never sure what to make of these types of conflicts. It seems easier to assume that some guys are of the loop and thus don’t know that something is going on than it is to assume that multiple people are simply being lied to or making something up, but weirder things have happened.

But let’s assume the talks are legit:  The Padres have great pitching overall, but they could use some rotation depth and, of course, don’t know if Mat Latos can truly hold up all year, even if they try to make him.  Maholm is 6-9 this year with a 4.52 ERA. He doesn’t strike out enough guys and he walks a few too many, but Petco is a forgiving park, so who knows?

No word yet on who would come back to Pittsburgh.

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.