Three top Yankees prospects land on disabled list

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Catcher Gary Sanchez, right-hander Dellin Betances (pictured) and left-hander Manny Banuelos have all gone on the DL’s for their respective minor league teams, The LoHud Yankees blog reports.

Those three players were ranked second, third and fourth respectively on Baseball America’s Top 10 Yankees prospects list behind Jesus Montero.

Both pitchers have gone on the DL because of blisters, something GM Brian Cashman is blaming on the smaller seams founds on minor league baseballs.

Sanchez’s absence has yet to be explained.  The 19-year-old was hitting .238/.273/.476 with one homer in five games for low Single-A Charleston.   He made his most recent appearance on Monday.

In better news for the Yankees, Montero seems to be recovering just fine from his disappointing spring.  He’s hit in all six of his starts for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, going 13-for-29 with a homer and three doubles.

Astros clinch postseason berth with 11-3 win over Angels

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No surprise here: The Astros are headed back to the postseason to defend their title following a landslide 11-3 win over the Angels on Friday. This figures to be their third playoff run since 2015, though they have yet to wrap up the AL West with a division title.

First baseman Yuli Gurriel led the charge on Friday, smashing a grand slam in the first inning and tacking on a two-run homer in the second and RBI single in the fifth to help the Astros to a seven-run lead. The Angels eventually returned fire, first with Mike Trout‘s 418-foot homer in the sixth, then with an RBI hit from Francisco Arcia in the seventh, but they couldn’t close the gap in time to overtake the Astros.

On the mound, right-hander Gerrit Cole clinched his 15th win of the year after holding the Angels to seven innings of three-run, 12-strikeout ball. His sixth strikeout of the night — delivered on an 83.1-MPH knuckle curveball to Kaleb Cowart — also marked the 1,000th strikeout of his career to date. He was backed by flawless performances by lefty reliever Tony Sipp and rookie right-hander Dean Deetz, both of whom turned in scoreless innings as the offense barreled toward an 11-3 finish with Jake Marisnick‘s sac bunt and George Springer‘s three-run shot in the eighth.

Despite having qualified for the playoffs, the Astros still carry a magic number of 6 as they look to clinch a third straight division title. They’re currently up against the Athletics, who entered Friday’s contest against the Twins just four games back of first place in the AL West.