Orioles release Jon Rauch

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Jon Rauch has opted out of his minor-league contract with the Orioles, who released the veteran reliever.

Rauch spent a month pitching at Triple-A for the Orioles, throwing 9.1 innings with a 2.89 ERA and 10/4 K/BB ratio, but they apparently weren’t impressed enough to give him a middle relief gig and the 6-foot-10 right-hander didn’t feel like sticking around in Norfolk any longer.

Rauch was previously released by the Marlins after allowing 14 runs in 16.2 innings to begin the season and at age 34 may be nearing the end of the line following a decade-long run of consistently solid relief work.

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.