Cole Hamels could rejoin Phillies by the end of the month

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Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels threw three innings in a minor league intrasquad game Tuesday, with Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reporting that he tossed 44 pitches and allowed one run while striking out three.

According to CSNPhilly.com it was a simulated game in which he faced Single-A hitters and “got three outs in his first inning, two outs in his second frame, and five outs in his third inning.”

Hamels is on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation, but has progressed in his throwing program recently without setbacks and Zolecki writes that “if he remains on his current schedule he could return the final week of April.”

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.