Kevin Correia asks the Pirates to trade him

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Demoted to the bullpen last week so that Wandy Rodriguez could take his spot in the rotation, Kevin Correia has asked the Pirates to trade him.

“I want to start,” Correia told Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review. “For that to happen, I’ll have to go someplace else.”

He then went out and allowed four runs in his first relief appearance.

General manager Neil Huntington said the Pirates “are open to a trade, but it’s got to be something that makes us better.” And because Correia is unlikely to fetch much of a return Huntington may feel that keeping him around as rotation depth in case of an injury is more valuable.

Correia is certainly deserving of a spot in some team’s rotation, as he’s started 150 career games with a 4.63 ERA and has a 4.24 ERA in 19 starts this season. On the other hand 31-year-old back-of-the-rotation starters with $3 million salaries aren’t exactly a hot commodity, particularly when they’re impending free agents like Correia.

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.