Johan Santana impresses

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Good news all around for the Mets this week. The Madoff suit settled, Terry Collins hasn’t blown a gasket at anyone and now Johan Santana has turned in a nice start against the defending World Series champs.

Santana held the Cardinals to one run in six innings and struck out six, didn’t walk anyone, and used just 68 pitches in six innings against a regular season-worthy Cardinals’ lineup. His velocity was off, but hell, results are results, no matter how crazy we all want to fixate on velocity. he had not been striking out a lot of guys so far this spring, so his K total today was a good sign.

There were some noises last week that Santana may pitch on Opening Day. Even if he doesn’t, the fact that he’s going six innings and pitching effectively now, when just a few weeks ago there was every reason to think he would start the season on the DL, is pretty great news.

 

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.