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Report: Padres hire A.J. Ellis as special assistant to baseball operations

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MLB.com’s A.J. Cassavell reports that catcher A.J. Ellis has been hired as a special assistant to the Padres’ baseball operations department under executive VP and GM A.J. Preller. That’s a lot of A.J.’s.

Ellis, 37, signed a minor league deal with the Padres almost exactly a year ago and ended up playing 66 games in the big leagues for them in 2018. He hit .272/.378/.344 in 183 plate appearances.

This almost certainly signals the end of Ellis’s playing career. He spent 11 seasons in the big leagues with the Dodgers, Phillies, Marlins, and Padres, batting .239/.340/.352 across 672 games. Along with solid on-base skills, Ellis was known for being a great teammate and his ability to call a good game for his pitchers.

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.