Joe Blanton returned from the disabled list last night with a win, allowing three runs in five innings against the Marlins in his first start since April 26, but said afterward that his elbow still isn’t totally healthy.
Pitching coach Rich Dubee agreed, telling Todd Zolecki of MLB.com that Blanton’s elbow “is still a little cranky” and “definitely not 100 percent.”
According to Dubee “there are certain pitches that at times he’ll feel it and at other times he won’t.”
Neither Blanton nor Dubee seem particularly worried about his status, but Zolecki writes that “it certainly seemed like the elbow bothered him” while allowing three runs on eight hits and two walks over five innings in what was hardly an impressive return start.
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.