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Alex Rodriguez returns to Yankees as special advisor

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Former Yankees legend Alex Rodriguez is officially returning to New York in 2018, albeit not to join a lineup stacked with Baby Bombers. MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports that A-Rod has been kept on as a special advisor to the team, a role he first accepted after his retirement in 2016.

The three-time MVP and 14-time All-Star originally assisted managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner during his post-retirement gig with the club in 2016 and 2017, but is expected to report to GM Brian Cashman this season. He will be joined by former players Reggie Jackson, Hideki Matsui and Nick Swisher.

“These are exciting times for the New York Yankees, and I do not take this opportunity for granted,” Rodriguez said in a statement Sunday. “I am genuinely thankful for the trust the organization has placed in me, and I am looking forward to lending whatever support or expertise is needed of me. I continue to cherish The Pinstripes, the fans and my involvement with the Steinbrenner family, Brian Cashman, and his world-class staff.”

In addition to his new responsibilities with the team, Rodriguez will join the Sunday Night Baseball crew at ESPN and continue his work as an analyst for FOX Sports. He’s expected to make an appearance during spring training sometime this month, though an official date has yet to be announced.

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.