Braves escape seventh-inning jam, hold 3-2 lead on Phils

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Fortunately for the Braves, Jason Heyward’s struggle with the lights on a Raul Ibanez fly to right and Jack Wilson’s potentially huge error only cost Tim Hudson one run and the Braves are taking a 3-2 lead on the Phillies into the bottom of the seventh.

Wilson’s error on Carlos Ruiz’s grounder to short allowed one run and put the tying run in scoring position and the go-ahead run on first.  However, Eric O’Flaherty took over for Hudson then and induced an inning-ending double play from Shane Victorino.

Hudson ended up allowing two runs in 6 1/3 innings in what would be his 17th win if the Braves can hold on.  The Cards are up 6-0 on Houston, so it looks like the Braves will need the victory to force a one-game playoff.

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.