Riggleman: Morgan out of lineup because "he'd get hit"

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Worried that Nyjer Morgan might “get hit” because of his unnecessary shove of Cardinals catcher Bryan Anderson on Saturday night, Nationals manager Jim Riggleman has opted to keep the outfielder out of the lineup Sunday. 

Riggleman stood up for his outfielder in a chat with Gene Wang of the Washington Post on Sunday, but did acknowledged that Morgan made a mistake:

“I think he was just having a day like where he was upset about some
things and did an unprofessional thing. He went after the catcher,”
Riggleman said. “So I certainly don’t condone that, but we’ve all made
mistakes. I think that’s not Nyjer’s style of play to do something like
that. That’s totally uncharacteristic. I think the culmination of the
day, when I called him in, told him I was going to hit him eighth
instead of leadoff, and I think it just was building up all day. I think
he thought I was wearing that equipment there at home plate.”

Riggleman said he spoke with St. Louis manager Tony La Russa about the matter, but it seems possible that Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright might direct his anger toward another member of the Nationals lineup today.

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.