Giants perpare for possible playoff, move up Tim Lincecum

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Having Monday off gave the Giants a lot more flexibility in dealing with their rotation this week, and they announced Tuesday that they’re taking advantage of it by moving Tim Lincecum’s start from Thursday to Wednesday.
Lincecum was switched with Madison Bumgarner in case the Giants face a must-win 163rd game next Monday. Lincecum could then pitch that one on regular rest. San Francisco currently holds a one-game lead over San Diego in the NL West, and both teams could make the postseason if the Braves falter this week.
In one of his finest performances this season, Lincecum limited the Rockies to one run and two hits over eight innings at Coors Field to win Friday. He’s allowed a total of eight runs in his last five starts, lowering his ERA from 3.80 to 3.51.
The Giants play three games with the Diamondbacks this week before finishing their schedule with a home series against the Padres. Barry Zito, Matt Cain and Jonathan Sanchez are scheduled to pitch in the final series.

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.