The Astros sign Bill Hall to a one-year deal

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Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Astros have signed Bill Hall to a one-year contract with a mutual option for 2012. He’ll make somewhere around $3 million.

Hall, who turns 31 later this month, batted .247/.316/.456 with 18 home runs, 46 RBI, nine stolen bases and a 772 OPS over 382 plate appearances this past season. While he played six different positions with the Red Sox — and even pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning in May — Rosenthal hears that he will be the regular second baseman in Houston. The Astros already added Clint Barmes in a trade with Colorado last month, so the club will have a brand new double play combination in 2011.

Rosenthal adds that this signing “pratically ensures” that Jeff Keppinger will be traded. And as he wrote earlier in the day, the Yankees like him as a potential utility player.

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.