Astros move up wildcard standings, Royals extend streak


The Houston Astros boosted their wildcard hopes with another rout of the Baltimore Orioles, easing to a 12-2 win in MLB on Saturday.

After crushing the Orioles 15-8 on Friday, the Astros were at it again the following day thanks to homers from Alex Bregman, George Springer and Jason Castro.

With the win, the Astros (63-60) moved to four and a half games back of Baltimore (67-55) for the second American League wildcard spot. 

Reigning World Series champions the Kansas City Royals are also back in contention for the second AL wildcard position.

The streaking Royals shutout the Minnesota Twins 10-0 for their seventh successive victory as they closed to within four and a half games of the Orioles.

Elsewhere, the AL East-leading Toronto Blue Jays edged the Cleveland Indians 6-5, the Chicago Cubs saw off the Colorado Rockies 9-2, the Boston Red Sox were too good for the Detroit Tigers 3-2, the Texas Rangers lost 8-2 to the Tampa Bay Rays and the Cincinnati Reds humbled the Los Angeles Dodgers 11-1.

The Chicago White Sox defeated the Oakland Athletics 6-2, the New York Mets beat the San Francisco Giants 9-5, the Washington Nationals saw off the Atlanta Braves 11-9, the New York Yankees were 5-1 winners over the Los Angeles Angels, the St Louis Cardinals lost 4-2 to the Philadelphia Phillies, the Miami Marlins trumped the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-1, the Seattle Mariners emerged 8-2 victors against the Milwaukee Brewers, while the Arizona Diamondbacks outlasted the San Diego Padres 2-1.



The White Sox's All-Star southpaw Chris Sale fired eight scoreless innings against the Athletics, scattering three hits while striking out eight for his 15th win of the season.


CESPEDES GOES LONG's Statcast measures the exit velocity and projected distance of Yoenis Cespedes' 457-foot home run against the Giants. It was the longest by a Met in two seasons. 



Boston's David Ortiz now has 1,500 RBIs in a Red Sox uniform, trailing only Carl Yastrzemski (1,844) and Ted Williams (1,839) on the club's all-time list.

With a rout of the Twins, the Royals are making a playoff push after winning their 12th game over the past 14. The defending champions are currently four and a half games out of the second wild card.



Eduardo Rodriguez (2-5, 5.11 ERA) was disappointing to start the season but after being sent to the minors, the Boston lefty owns a 2.51 ERA in his last eight starts. He will face a potent Tigers line-up on Sunday that looks to aid Justin Verlander (12-7, 3.44), who has lost only once since June 26. 

A pair of flamethrowers square off, meanwhile, as Noah Syndergaard (10-7, 2.76) and the Mets take on Jeff Samardzija (10-8, 4.24) and the Giants. 'Thor' has tweaked his mechanics of late but he could have plenty of run support as Jose Reyes and Cespedes are hitting above .300 against Samardzija.