Wandy Rodriguez has arthritis in his left elbow

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Wandy Rodriguez’s recent visit with Dr. James Andrews was reported as good news, because the Pirates left-hander was told that his elbow injury won’t require surgery. However, it’s not all positive.

Michael Sanserino of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports that Dr. Andrews diagnosed Rodriguez with arthritis in his elbow and Rodriguez described the pain he continues to experience when throwing as “feel[ing] like it’s in the bone.”

It sounds like if Rodriguez comes back to pitch for the Pirates this season it’ll be as a reliever. And while avoiding surgery keeps Rodriguez from potentially missing an entire year recovering, an arthritic elbow isn’t exactly a minor issue as the 34-year-old faces a decision on his $13 million player option for 2014.

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.