The Astros are on a nine-game winning streak

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Despite allowing two home runs to the red-hot Nelson Cruz, the Astros beat the Mariners again on Saturday night, taking the first three games of a four-game set and extending their winning streak to nine games, their longest winning streak since 2006. They have also won 13 of their last 14 games. They’re now 17-7 with the best record in the American League, and are six games ahead of the second-place Angels, who lost to the Giants on Saturday afternoon, and seven games ahead of the third-place Mariners.

Starter Collin McHugh allowed four home runs over seven innings, but they were all of the solo variety. Meanwhile, the Astros used their own power to swat a total of five home runs against Mariner pitching, including three against starter Taijuan Walker. They powered their way to scoring 11 runs, besting the Mariners by seven runs in the contest.

The Astros entered the game with a +29 run differential, good for second-best in the American League. Now it’s up to +36, still behind the +46 Royals. The Cardinals (+40) are the only other team with a better run differential. While the hot start is a surprise, it’s not totally out of left field. After finishing with 106, 107, and 111 losses between 2011-13, the Astros improved by a whopping 19 games to finish 70-92 last season.

Dale Murphy’s son hit in eye by rubber bullet during protest

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Atlanta Braves legend Dale Murphy took to Twitter last night and talked about his son, who was injured while taking part in a protest in Denver.

Murphy said his son nearly lost his eye after he was hit in the face by a rubber bullet while peacefully marching. He later shared a photo (see below). “Luckily, his eye was saved due to a kind stranger that was handing out goggles to protestors shortly before the shooting and another kind stranger that drove him to the ER,” Murphy said.

Murphy had far more to say about the protests, however, than how it related to his son:

“As terrible as this experience has been, we know that it’s practically nothing compared to the systemic racism and violence against Black life that he was protesting in the first place. Black communities across America have been terrorized for centuries by excessive police force . . . If you’re a beneficiary of systemic racism, then you will not be able to dismantle it at no cost to yourself. You will have to put yourself at risk. It might not always result in being physically attacked, but it will require you to make yourself vulnerable.”