Ryan Madson to throw for scouts on Friday

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Confirming what was reported by ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick last week, Ryan Madson has a big day ahead of him tomorrow as he attempts to make his way back to a major league mound:

According to Crasnick, Madson already had a workout last Tuesday with an unidentified team. The Phillies, Red Sox, and Royals have been linked to him this offseason, but Morosi speculates that the Tigers and Yankees could be among the reliever-hungry teams in attendance tomorrow.

Madson is now 33 years old and hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2011 due to elbow problems, but he was one of the better relievers in baseball during his time with the Phillies. It will likely only require a minor league deal to sign him, so plenty of teams figure to check in on his progress as a matter of due diligence.

Astros clinch postseason berth with 11-3 win over Angels

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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.