A’s recall Dan Straily to fill in for Brandon McCarthy

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Brandon McCarthy remains in the hospital after being hit in the head by a line drive Wednesday and the A’s have recalled right-hander Dan Straily from Triple-A to presumably take his spot in the rotation.

Straily made his big-league debut back on August 3 and pitched well in three starts, throwing 17 innings with a 3.18 ERA and 12/4 K/BB ratio, but Brett Anderson’s return from Tommy John surgery and Oakland’s strong rotation depth pushed him back to the minors.

Now he returns after posting a 2.78 ERA and ridiculously great 190/48 K/BB ratio in 152 innings between Double-A and Triple-A. Straily was far from a top prospect coming into this season, but had one of the bigger breakouts of anyone in the minors this year.

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.