Craig Counsell open to trade after reportedly clearing waivers

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Buster Olney of ESPN.com reported earlier this week that Craig Counsell has cleared waivers and the veteran infielder said yesterday that he’d be open to a trade to a contender.
Milwaukee general manager Doug Melvin sought approval from Jim Edmonds before trading him to Cincinnati and Counsell indicated that Melvin discussed a similar possibility with him.

You always know it’s possible. We’ve talked about it. We talked about it last year. We’ve talked about it this year. We try to keep things upfront. I appreciate it a lot, for sure. I know I’ll hear stuff that’s important from Doug first. He said people have called but that’s it.

As a soon-to-be 40-year-old hitting just .246/.317/.305 in 83 games this season Counsell won’t be at the top of any contender’s wish list for a stretch-drive pickup, but he’s still capable of drawing some walks, getting on base, and providing some defensive versatility in a part-time role.
Counsell told Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that he’s leaning toward returning for a 16th season in 2011, but added that the idea of going to a contender is “intriguing” because “as you get older you want to win” and “you don’t know how many years you’ve got left.”

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.