A’s shortstop Jed Lowrie was initially diagnosed with a bruise after taking a hard grounder off his right index finger last week, but Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that an MRI taken Tuesday afternoon revealed a hairline fracture.
Lowrie is hoping to play through the injury for the remainder of the 2014 season (and playoffs), but he acknowledged to Slusser on Tuesday that the fracture causes him pain when he throws — “a burning feeling” — and also occasionally bothers him on swings. Lowrie is 1-for-11 with four strikeouts since the grounder struck him.
This injury comes with bad timing for the AL West-leading A’s and for Lowrie, who is set to become a free agent this fall. He has hit .238 with a .671 OPS this season after batting .290 with a .791 OPS in 2013.
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.