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Braves plan to use six-man rotation when Bartolo Colon returns

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David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the Braves will expand the starting rotation to six members when Bartolo Colon returns from the disabled list by Wednesday. Colon will rejoin the rotation without going on a minor league rehab assignment.

Colon, 44, went on the disabled list on June 6 with a strained left oblique. He struggled through 12 starts, compiling a 7.78 ERA with a 40/17 K/BB ratio in 59 innings.

The Braves want to see more out of pitching prospect Sean Newcomb, who has turned in two solid starts against the Mets and Marlins to start his big league career. He’s given up three earned runs on nine hits and six walks with 10 strikeouts in 12 1/3 innings.

O’Brien notes that the six-man rotation may only be temporary as the Braves may explore trading Jaime Garcia between now and the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

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.