Mariners designate Hector Noesi for assignment

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Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reports that the Mariners have designated Hector Noesi for assignment. To fill his spot on the roster, the Mariners have called up 22-year-old right-hander Dominic Leone.

Noesi was acquired along with Jesus Montero in the trade that sent Michael Pineda to the Yankees. He struggled to start the 2014 season, allowing two runs to the Angels in his season debut on Wednesday, and serving up a walk-off solo home run to Coco Crisp in the 12th inning on Thursday night.

Noesi is only 27 years old and will be eligible for arbitration for the first time after the season, so his youth and ability to be cost-controlled could make him attractive to other teams.

Leone has put up impressive numbers in his 97 innings in professional baseball. Last season, split between Single-A and Double-A, Leone posted a 2.25 ERA with 64 strikeouts and 17 unintentional walks in 64 innings. The Mariners will likely use him exclusively in low-leverage situations, but his strikeout potential could make him an attractive option to use in the late innings as the season progresses.

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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.