GM Jon Daniels “tapping the brakes” on sending Derek Holland out on rehab stint

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Rangers starter Derek Holland, out since mid-January after injuring his knee in a fall at home, feels ready to go out on a rehab assignment, but GM Jon Daniels is “tapping the breaks” on that idea, Drew Davison of the Star-Telegram reports. Holland had microfracture surgery on the knee and the team prefers the left-hander continue strengthening the muscles around the knee.

“We just don’t want him to be at risk,” Daniels said. “When he comes back, we want him to have confidence and us to have confidence that we’re not putting the knee at further risk or something else at risk because he’s compensating for it.”

Holland was hoping to build off of last season’s impressive campaign in which he finished with a 3.42 ERA and a 189/64 K/BB ratio in 213 innings. Getting him back as healthy as possible is important for the Rangers, as their rotation is a shambles after losing Martin Perez to Tommy John surgery and Matt Harrison to an uncomfortable-sounding back injury (spondylolisthesis).

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.