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Carlos Beltran announces his retirement

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Carlos Beltran has announced his retirement. The 20-year veteran goes out on top, with a World Series win.

Beltran, the 1999 Rookie of the Year and a nine-time All-Star, played for the Royals, Mets, Yankees, Cardinals, Giants, Rangers and did two separate tours with the Houston Astros. Over the course of his career he put up a line of .279/.350/.486 with 435 homers and 312 stolen bases. An elite defensive center fielder for much of his career, Beltran took home three Gold Glove awards and could’ve won more if Gold Glove voting was approached a bit more objectively than it is. He was a two-time Silver Slugger Award winner as well.

In later years, Beltran became a corner outfielder and a veteran team leader, mentoring younger players while with the Yankees, Rangers and Astros. He was the winner of the 2013 Roberto Clemente Award, which honored both his leadership and his charitable and community contributions.

Beltran’s contract was up after this past season and it’s possible that, despite his age and despite the fact that he’s coming off of a subpar season, he could’ve latched on as a bench bat/DH someplace. The World Series victory, however, caps a career in which he’s pretty much done it all, so it’s not at all surprising that he’s calling it quits.

By the traditional counting stats, Beltran may not strike a lot of casual fans as a Hall of Famer. And, indeed, he may not immediately attract a lot of Hall of Fame attention when he appears on the ballot in a little over five years. Increasingly, however, a consensus has built among the media and among more analytically-minded fans that Beltran is, in fact, worthy of induction, and I suspect he will have a plaque in Cooperstown eventually. We’ll discuss that more in depth later today.

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.