Troy Tulowitzki hasn’t played since May 30 and it’s been three weeks since he was supposedly on the verge of rejoining the Rockies’ lineup, but the star shortstop still hasn’t given up on returning from groin surgery this season.
Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports that Tulowitzki will play an instructional league game Sunday, which is the only rehab game option left at this point because the minor league season ended already.
And from there? “Maybe I will play in one of the last two regular season games,” Tulowitzki said. “But I have to be smart. I might just stay in [the instructional league] and play more games down there.”
Sadly, considering how the past four months have gone for Tulowitzki and his rehab process the smart money would probably be on him not being in the Rockies’ lineup for those final two games.
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.