Paul Konerko’s odd streak: home runs in nine straight vs. Mariners at the Cell

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Shannon Drayer points out on Twitter that Paul Konerko made it nine in a row tonight.  He’s taken Mariners pitching deep that last nine times he’s faced the team in home games at U.S. Cellular.

The streak dates back to April of last year.  The Mariners and White Sox played seven times in Chicago last year and Konerko homered in all seven games.  Now he’s started this year 2-for-2 with homers the last two days.

Of course, it’s a pretty exclusive set of conditions, but it’s still a very notable streak, especially considering that no major leaguer has ever homered in more than eight games in a row.  Only Dale Long (PIT, 1956), Don Mattingly (NYY, 1987) and Ken Griffey Jr. (SEA, 1993) have ever made it that far.

Also interesting is that Konerko has done nothing else at all during the streak.  Tonight’s game is just in the third inning as of this writing, so we’ll ignore it for now.  But in the first eight games, he had a total of 10 hits and nine RBI.  Tonight’s homer, just like all of the others, was a solo shot.

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.