Nori Aoki expected to return from concussion on Thursday

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Some positive news for the Giants’ battered outfield from CSNBayArea.com’s Alex Pavlovic

Aoki was struck on the front of his batting helmet last Sunday by a Jake Arrieta pitch. He tried to return to action a few days later against the Astros but had to exit that game after experiencing lightheadedness.

The 33-year-old has been an important presence at the top of the Giants’ lineup this season, batting .302 with a .368 on-base percentage across 338 plate appearances. Aoki signed a one-year, $4.7 million free agent contract with San Francisco over the winter. That deal carries a $5.5 million club option for 2016.

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.