Casey Kotchman taken to hospital with chest pains

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Casey Kotchman presumably won’t be available for tonight’s game after being taken to the hospital with tightness in his chest, according to the Tampa Tribune.

For now the Rays have deemed the hospital trip and testing “precautionary,” but Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times reports that Kotchman was taken out on a stretcher.

Kotchman is one of the big reasons why the Rays are in position to make the playoffs, hitting .305 with a .377 on-base percentage in 145 games after joining the team on a minor-league contract that pays him just $750,000. He has an .800 OPS after batting just .254 with a .695 OPS during the previous three seasons.

Update: The Rays officially scratched Kotchman from the lineup.  Reid Brignac was inserted into his place, and Sean Rodriguez moved from short to first.

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.