Those watching Saturday’s Cardinals-Phillies game surely noticed that Albert Pujols didn’t exactly bust it down the line on his sixth-inning groundout. As it turned out, there was good reason why.
Cards manager Tony La Russa said after the game that Pujols is dealing with a heel injury, but that he should play Sunday. Pujols was removed for a pinch-runner today with the Cardinals down 11-3 in the ninth.
The Cardinals will surely live with Pujols running at 70 percent in order to keep his bat in the lineup. The three-time MVP had one of their seven hits and one of their two walks in today’s loss.
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.