Angel Pagan refuses surgery to heal his hamstring

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Giants outfielder Angel Pagan, on the shelf since May 26 with a strained left hamstring,was told by the team that surgery was an option, but Pagan declined, per CSN Bay Area’s Andrew Baggarly. Instead, Pagan received a platelet-rich plasma injection. He says he still feels pain, but expects to go on a rehab assignment in the near future as he works his way back into playing shape.

When Pagan was placed on the DL, he was hitting .262 with a .688 OPS and had stolen only six bases in ten attempts. In his place in center field, the Giants have been using Gregor Blanco, who has caught fire as of late. Since June 4, Blanco is hitting .406.

Astros clinch AL West for third consecutive year

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For the third consecutive season, the Astros are AL West champions. The ‘stros clinched the division on Sunday afternoon with a convincing 13-5 win over the Angels. They were backed by three homers from leadoff man George Springer and individual homers from Alex Bregman and Aledmys Díaz.

Springer has the 22nd three-homer game in baseball this season. He’s the first Astro to hit three homers in a game since Yordan Álvarez last month, on August 10.

Justin Verlander lasted five innings in Sunday’s start, yielding two runs on six hits and a pair of walks with five strikeouts. The right-hander is arguably the frontrunner for the AL Cy Young Award, now 20-6 with a 2.53 ERA and a 288/42 K/BB ratio in 217 innings on the year. Verlander is 12 strikeouts shy of the 300-strikeout milestone and six strikeouts short of 3,000 for his career. If the Astros stay on schedule, Verlander would pitch the second-to-last game of the regular season against the Angels.

Sunday’s win marked No. 102 on the season for the Astros. The franchise record is 103 wins set last year. With six games remaining, it seems likely the Astros will set a new record.

The Astros and Yankees both won on Sunday, meaning the Astros remain a half-game ahead in the race for home field advantage. The No. 1 seed will also have the privilege of playing the Wild Card winner, which is down to the Athletics, Rays, and Indians.