The White Sox lose coach Kevin Hickey

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Kevin Hickey, who has served as a “pregame instructor” — basically a non-titled coach, right? — for the Chicago White Sox for several years died yesterday. From CSNChicago.com:

Kevin Hickey, who pitched on the South Side from 1981-83 and served as a pregame instructor since 2004, died Wednesday at Rush Memorial Center. He was 56.

Hickey was unresponsive in the intensive care unit at Rush University Medical Center after being moved to Chicago from Dallas in early April. He was taken to Parkland Hospital in Dallas on April 5 after missing the White Sox workout prior to Opening Day.

His death unleashed an outpouring of emotion from all kinds of people who have or had associations with the White Sox, from ownership to Ozzie Guillen to any number of players who worked with him.

Before coaching, Hickey spent some time pitching for the Sox in the early 80s. His career path was an unusual one. He never played high school ball and was discovered by the White Sox after showing up for a tryout one day. His experience before that was playing softball.

Even if you’ve never heard of him — and I can’t say that I did before I heard of his death — he clearly had a big impact on those who did know him. There are a lot of people like that.

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.