Buster Posey passes concussion tests after scary foul tip

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SAN FRANCISCO –- The Giants might be reeling after losing three late leads and getting swept by the Colorado Rockies, but at least Buster Posey is clear of mind.

Posey came out of Sunday’s eventual 8-7 loss in the fourth inning after he took a particularly hard foul tip off the mask. Posey had a headache in the dugout, so Giants manager Bruce Bochy sent up Hector Sanchez to bat in the bottom of the inning.

But Posey said the headache didn’t last long, he passed all the concussion tests and he expected to fly with the team when they leave for Chicago on Monday.

“I feel fine,” Posey said. “It stung me a little bit but everything feels normal. They’ll check in with me later tonight and tomorrow morning, just to make sure nothing has changed.”

Posey was checked by head athletic trainer Dave Groeschner after Rockies catcher Mike McKenry fouled back a pitch from Madison Bumgarner that caught Posey flush on his hockey-style mask. Posey finished the half-inning.

[RELATED: Instant Replay: Giants melt down late, swept by Rockies]

“He thought he could continue but once he got onto the dugout, he was getting a headache,” Bochy said. “You hear that and you can’t let him go back out there.”

Said Bumgarner: “You could see paint flying everywhere, chips or something. It was pretty solid. He usually doesn’t act like nothing is bothering him unless it’s really bothering him.”

Posey took a hard foul off the mask earlier in the week against the Washington Nationals; there is plenty of anecdotal evidence and also published studies that have demonstrated repeated shots to the head usually have a cumulative effect.

[RELATED: Posey jarred by foul tip, leaves Sunday’s game early]

“As a competitor you want to stay out there,” Posey said. “But when it comes to your head feeling weird, and taking a couple hard ones, three or four in the last couple days, it was the right move.”

Posey said he hasn’t been diagnosed with a concussion other than one time at Single-A San Jose when he was hit by a pitch and missed time on the disabled list. Even then, he said he didn’t experience any significant symptoms.

The Giants don’t have a third catcher on the 40-man roster, so they’d have to do a bit of juggling if they needed to purchase the contract of Guillermo Quiroz from Triple-A Fresno. It appears that won’t be necessary.

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.