Rangers farm director Scott Servais expected to join Angels

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Former big-league catcher Scott Servais, the Rangers’ director of player development since Dec. 2005, is leaving to become the apparent No. 2 man in the Angels front office, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan reports.

The 44-year-old Servais will join the newly hired Jerry Dipoto in Anaheim as an assistant GM. The two were briefly batterymates in Colorado in 2000. That was Dipoto’s last year in the bigs, and they were only on the active roster together for the month of April. Servais went on to play one more year in 2001. He hit .245/.306/.375 with 63 homers in a big-league career that spanned 11 seasons.

Very well regarded for his work in aiding a Texas farm system that has become one of the best in the majors, Servais is viewed by some as a future general manager.

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.