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Padres designate Clayton Richard for assignment

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The Padres officially announced the signing of second baseman Ian Kinsler to a two-year contract on Thursday. To make room for him on the active roster, the club designated pitcher Clayton Richard for assignment. Richard is owed $3 million for the 2019 season, which the Padres will have to pay (minus the major league minimum salary) if he signs with a new team.

Richard, 35, posted a disappointing 5.33 ERA with 108 strikeouts and 60 walks over 158 2/3 innings for the Padres last season. He was also subpar in 2017 with the Padres, finishing with a 4.79 ERA across 197 1/3 innings.

Richard underwent season-ending knee surgery in August. That, Richard’s age, and his recent performance are certainly red marks against him, but he’s left-handed and an innings-eater when healthy, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see him quickly latch on elsewhere.

Red Sox end Astros’ 10-game winning streak

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The Red Sox salvaged the final game of their three-game home series against the Astros, winning 4-3 on Sunday afternoon. In doing so, they ended the Astros’ 10-game winning streak.

Xander Bogaerts struck the decisive blow, knocking in a run with a double in the seventh inning to break a 3-3 tie. Michael Chavis also hit another homer — his eighth of the season — while Mookie Betts collected three hits and scored three runs to raise his OPS to .899.

The Astros last lost on May 7 against the Royals, the second game of a three-game series. The Astros won the final game of that set, then swept the Rangers in a four-game series, the Tigers in three, and won the first two games against the Red Sox. It’s their second 10-game winning streak of the season, as they won 10 striaght between April 5-16, sweeping the Athletics, Yankees, and Mariners before losing the second of two games against the A’s in Oakland.

At 31-16, the Astros are slightly behind the Twins — in progress as of this writing — for the best winning percentage in the majors. The Red Sox, meanwhile, have made up some ground after ending April 13-17. They’re now 24-22, good for third place in the AL East.