Matt Holliday aiming to return to Cardinals’ lineup Thursday

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According to Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Matt Holliday is targeting a Thursday return from the 15-day disabled list.

The left fielder has been out since June 1 with tightness in his left quadriceps muscle. He took batting practice and went through a strenuous workout before Saturday’s game at Miller Park in Milwaukee and told reporters that he had been running for several days at home in St. Louis before joining the team for the weekend.

Holliday, 31, left behind a shiny .342/.433/.542 batting line, six home runs and 33 RBI. He’s been a force at cleanup when healthy, and the Cardinals will hope that he picks it all back up.

Allen Craig was placed on the 15-day disabled list Sunday with a bruised knee and outfielder Andrew Brown was recalled from Triple-A Memphis. Brown will likely head back down Thursday to make room for Holliday.

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.