Jason Lane returns to the major leagues as a reliever

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The last time Jason Lane appeared in a major league game was October 1, 2007, as a backup outfielder for the Padres. Now he’s back in San Diego, almost seven years later, as a lefty reliever …

The 37-year-old had a 4.36 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, and 28/14 K/BB ratio in 64 innings at Triple-A El Paso, so this might not be a very long stay. But it’s quite an accomplishment that he was able to make the conversion at all, and that it took him nearly seven whole years to pull it off makes the story all the more intriguing.

Lane posted an .815 OPS, 26 homers, and 78 RBI in 145 games for the 2005 Astros team that advanced to the World Series. But his numbers fell off significantly in 2006 and then completely cratered in 2007.

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.