Albert Pujols and the Cardinals are reportedly no closer to agreeing on a long-term contract, but the two sides have at least agreed to push back the superstar first baseman’s self-imposed deadline for negotiations by one day.
Pujols initially told the team he would cut off all talks Tuesday, but because Hall of Famer and Cardinals legend Stan Musial is scheduled to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Barack Obama in a ceremony at the White House tomorrow Pujols has adjusted the deadline to Wednesday at noon Florida time.
Giving the stage to Stan The Man is a nice gesture by Pujols toward his fellow three-time MVP, but most reports suggest that the extra time won’t do much except allow Cardinals fans another day to fret. Last night Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported that Pujols turned down the Cardinals’ recent offer and he’s said all along that he’s determined to become a free agent if an agreement can’t be reached by the deadline.
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.