Red Sox release A.J. Pierzynski

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A.J. Pierzynski passed through waivers unclaimed after being designated for assignment by the Red Sox last week and has now been released.

That means Boston is on the hook for his entire $8.25 million salary and the 37-year-old catcher is able to sign with any team for whatever he can get. His parting gift was being badmouthed in the media on his way out the door, which is something the Red Sox have become extremely proficient at in recent years.

Pierzynski hit just .254 with four homers and a .633 OPS in 72 games for the Red Sox, posting a hideous 40/9 K/BB ratio and throwing out just 19 percent of stolen base attempts. He should be able to latch on somewhere as a part-timer down the stretch, but his days as a starting catcher are probably over.

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.