Rangers defeat Royals after no collision at home plate

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Seriously, that’s why they won.

In a 6-6 game in the ninth, Mike Napoli tried to score all of the way from first on an Elvis Andrus single to right.  The relay from Mitch Maier to Eric Hosmer to Brayan Pena got to the plate in plenty of time.

In fact, there was so much time that Pena assumed Napoli would try to bowl him over in his only home of scoring (Click here to see the play).

Instead, Napoli slid in under an out-of-position Pena and home-plate umpire Mike Estabrook surprisingly made the correct call.  Pena’s tag came way up the body on Napoli’s arm after Napoli it looked like both of Napoli’s feet had already touched home plate.

The shocking ending could overshadow what would have been the prime storyline for the game: more struggles from both Neftali Feliz and Joakim Soria.  Feliz, who entered a tie game in the top of the ninth, gave up an unearned run and nearly got charged with a loss to add to his three blown saves in four appearances against the Royals this season.

Soria, though, let him off the hook.  He gave up a game-tying homer to Nelson Cruz to start the bottom of the ninth.  Two more hits followed, but it looked like Soria would escape with the score tied when Napoli attempted to score.  Instead, he was charged with both the blown save and the loss.

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.