David Ortiz appeals his four-game suspension

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As expected, David Ortiz appealed the four-game ban handed down by MLB on Thursday and is in Boston’s lineup for Friday’s game against the Rays.

Orioles pitchers Kevin Gregg (four games) and Mike Gonzalez (three games) appealed their suspension before Baltimore played last night.

Ortiz was pretty lucky to just get four games after charging the mound, even if Gregg encouraged him to do it, so it seems unlikely his suspension will be reduced on appeal.  Nevertheless, he didn’t want to take what would have amounted to a week off by serving the penalty immediately after the All-Star break.

Ortiz said he did plan to go through with the appeal, rather than drop it at a more opportune time.

“After I go through the whole thing (I can address it),” Ortiz said when asked about the suspension. “I can’t really talk about it now. But at one point I will. I’ll tell you what I was thinking. I’ll tell you what I thought was right.”

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.