Settling the Score: Saturday’s results

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Rebuilding doesn’t have to be entirely depressing.

The Astros — predicted by many to be a 100-loss team — won their fifth straight game on Saturday night in Houston, and their second straight against the defending World Series champion Cardinals.

Houston is one game under .500 (13-14), good enough for third place in the National League Central.

Jose Altuve, a 21-year-old Venezuelan second baseman, is batting .346/.389/.529. Shortstop Jed Lowrie, acquired in a steal of a trade this winter with the Red Sox, has a .979 OPS and four home runs. Wandy Rodriguez is sporting a 1.64 ERA through six starts. And left fielder J.D. Martinez ranks 13th in the major leagues with 20 RBI.

There will be regression at some point. The rotation isn’t deep and Wandy is likely to be moved near the deadline for prospects. But the ‘Stros seem to be enjoying their flirtation with relevance and Minute Maid Park is outpacing seven other MLB stadiums — including first-place Cleveland’s Progressive (Jacobs) Field.

Cardinals 2, Astros 8

Dodgers 5, Cubs 1

Phillies 1, Nationals 7

Orioles 8, Red Sox 2

White Sox 3, Tigers 2

Diamondbacks 3, Mets 4

Brewers 2, Giants 5

Reds 2, Pirates 3

Rangers 5, Indians 2 (11 innings)

Yankees 1, Royals 5

Athletics 4, Rays 3 (12 innings)

Braves 13, Rockies 9

Marlins 4, Padres 1

Blue Jays 2, Angels 6

Twins 0, Mariners 7

White Sox shut down Lucas Giolito for remainder of season

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The Athletic’s James Fegan reports that the White Sox are shutting down starter Lucas Giolito for the remainder of a season. An MRI revealed a mild lat strain, which typically comes with a three- to four-week recovery timetable. The third-place, 65-84 White Sox have nothing left to play for, so it makes sense to play it safe with their prized young hurler.

Giolito, 25, had a breakout season. He went 14-9 with a 3.41 ERA and a 228/57 K/BB ratio in 176 2/3 innings. He made his first All-Star team and will likely earn a few downballot votes for the AL Cy Young Award.

Giolito was scheduled to start Tuesday’s series opener against the Twins. Ross Detwiler will start in his place opposite Martín Pérez.