Cardinals offer assistant hitting coach job to Bengie Molina

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Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has the scoop:

The Cardinals will offer Bengie Molina the role of assistant hitting coach. The move will allow him to join, for the first time in their major-league careers, his younger brother Yadier on the same team. Molina, 38, last played in 2010, ending a career that included two Rawlings Gold Glove Awards.

John Mabry served in that assistant role this summer and then got promoted to hitting coach when Mark McGwire took the Dodgers’ job last month to be closer to his family. Since then, Mabry has been working with manager Mike Matheny to fill his old position.

And they’ve settled on a guy with zero coaching experience but who would obviously be received well by at least one key member of the St. Louis clubhouse.

Goold says “any announcement will come after the Winter Meetings” conclude in Nashville, Tennessee.

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.