Cubs designate Clayton Richard for assignment

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Clayton Richard tossed six innings of one-run ball in a win over the Padres on Sunday, but he was designated for assignment by the Cubs today for the second time in the past two weeks.

While it’s some tough luck for Richard, the Cubs don’t have a spot for him in their starting rotation after acquiring Dan Haren from the Marlins before the trade deadline last Friday. Chicago has been going with a short bench in recent days, so outfielder Matt Szczur was called up from Triple-A Iowa to take his place on the active roster.

Richard, 31, has a 4.29 ERA and 9/5 K/BB ratio in 21 innings over three starts and one relief appearance this season. The southpaw passed through waivers unclaimed after being designated for assignment in July and the Cubs are surely hoping to keep him around as depth once again.

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.