Chris Carpenter doubtful for Friday start after feeling “twinge” in injured hamstring

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Chris Carpenter had been hoping to get back on the mound Friday after leaving his start last week with a hamstring injury, but Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that’s now “doubtful” after the former Cy Young winner felt a “twinge” in the hamstring during a bullpen session yesterday.

According to Strauss “the condition has improved, but the Cardinals remain extremely reluctant to push Carpenter” and there’s no official timetable for his return, with manager Tony La Russa indicating that Carpenter could potentially start on Opening Day even if he doesn’t get any further spring training work.

Red Sox end Astros’ 10-game winning streak

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The Red Sox salvaged the final game of their three-game home series against the Astros, winning 4-3 on Sunday afternoon. In doing so, they ended the Astros’ 10-game winning streak.

Xander Bogaerts struck the decisive blow, knocking in a run with a double in the seventh inning to break a 3-3 tie. Michael Chavis also hit another homer — his eighth of the season — while Mookie Betts collected three hits and scored three runs to raise his OPS to .899.

The Astros last lost on May 7 against the Royals, the second game of a three-game series. The Astros won the final game of that set, then swept the Rangers in a four-game series, the Tigers in three, and won the first two games against the Red Sox. It’s their second 10-game winning streak of the season, as they won 10 striaght between April 5-16, sweeping the Athletics, Yankees, and Mariners before losing the second of two games against the A’s in Oakland.

At 31-16, the Astros are slightly behind the Twins — in progress as of this writing — for the best winning percentage in the majors. The Red Sox, meanwhile, have made up some ground after ending April 13-17. They’re now 24-22, good for third place in the AL East.