Deja vu: Astros cap 2nd straight sweep of Angels

Deja vu: Astros cap 2nd straight sweep of Angels

ANAHEIM -- Jose Altuve extended his on-base streak to 32 games, collecting four hits and finishing a home run short of the cycle as the red-hot Astros beat the Angels, 10-4, to complete a three-game road sweep on Wednesday -- their second straight sweep of their American League West rivals in the last week.

"I feel proud of myself because I'm doing everything I can to help my team," Altuve said. "It's all about your team, it's all about going to the playoffs at the end of the season, and I think we're going the right way."

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Fabian Ardaya is a reporter for MLB.com based in Anaheim.

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Altuve remains an iron man, and a productive one

Nearly given day off after 169 games straight, Astros star has 4 hits, finishes HR shy of cycle

Altuve remains an iron man, and a productive one

ANAHEIM -- Astros manager A.J. Hinch was originally going to give second baseman Jose Altuve a day off on Wednesday. After all, Altuve had played in 169 consecutive games entering the day and the manager thought he was getting a bit tired.

Altuve, of course, told Hinch he didn't think it was a good idea, and after he went 4-for-5 with four runs scored, two singles, a double and a triple in a 10-4 win over the Angels at Angel Stadium, the second baseman was right. As a fan loudly chanted "M-V-P!" when Altuve came to the plate in the ninth, the Astros' capped his day with his fourth hit of the game and his Major League-leading 111th hit of the season.

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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Astros interested in moving affiliate to Fayetteville

Astros interested in moving affiliate to Fayetteville

ANAHEIM -- The Astros' ongoing efforts to streamline their Minor League operations could see them put a Minor League team in Fayetteville, N.C., by the end of the decade.

The Astros have sent a letter of interest to the city of Fayetteville that outlines to move to a nonbinding memorandum of understanding to move a Minor League affiliate to the city if it can get a ballpark built. The Astros would have to purchase a franchise and relocate it.

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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Source: Astros work out Cuban star Gurriel

Source: Astros work out Cuban star Gurriel

ANAHEIM -- The Astros worked out Cuban free-agent infielder Yulieski Gurriel on Wednesday in Florida, a source told MLB.com. Gurriel posted a picture Wednesday on his Instagram page wearing a new Astros hat at the workout, where general manager Jeff Luhnow was in attendance.

The club has not confirmed the report.

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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Fiers, white-hot Astros host White Sox

Fiers, white-hot Astros host White Sox

The Astros, winners of 10 of their last 11 games and 25 of their last 36, return home Friday night to face the White Sox and open a 10-game homestand that will take them to the All-Star break. The Astros will send right-hander Mike Fiers to the mound against White Sox right-hander Miguel Gonzalez in Friday's series opener.

Fiers (5-3, 4.41 ERA) had won two consecutive decisions, allowing two runs in 12 2/3 innings, before allowing three runs and nine hits in only 4 1/3 innings Saturday in Kansas City. The Astros have won four of his last five starts.

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Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Correa in a groove with #ASGWorthy June

Astros SS slugs 13th HR, ties team lead with 47 RBIs

Correa in a groove with #ASGWorthy June

ANAHEIM -- Carlos Correa has become a force in the Astros' lineup.

What had been somewhat of a subpar sophomore season for the dynamic shortstop -- based on lofty expectations -- has heated up with the summer temperatures, and Correa carried the Astros offensively Tuesday night by going 3-for-4 with a three-run homer and four RBIs in a 7-1 win over the Angels.

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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Top prospect Bregman to play in Futures Game

Along with righty Musgrove, former first-round pick will represent U.S.

Top prospect Bregman to play in Futures Game

ANAHEIM -- Astros infield prospect Alex Bregman, who's set to join Triple-A Fresno later this week, and pitching prospect Joe Musgrove were picked to represent the U.S. Team at the 2016 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game on July 10 at Petco Park in San Diego.

Bregman, the No. 2 overall pick in last year's Draft out of LSU and the team's No. 1 prospect according to MLBPipeline, hit .297 with a .415 on-base percentage, 14 homers and 46 RBIs in 62 games at Double-A Corpus Christi with 42 walks and 26 strikeouts. He'll represent the Hooks in Tuesday's Texas League All-Star Game before reporting to Fresno, a source told MLB.com on Sunday.

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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Correa's blast, 4 RBIs key Astros past Halos

Correa's blast, 4 RBIs key Astros past Halos

ANAHEIM -- Carlos Correa launched a three-run, first-inning homer and finished a triple shy of the cycle, Jose Altuve extended his on-base streak to 31 games and the Astros beat the Angels, 7-1, on Tuesday to claim a series victory and their ninth win in their last 10 games.

"We expect to win the way we're playing, which is good," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "We show up the ballpark every day feeling good about the chance to win. We've got to go out and produce and do some things and prepare, but we do have a nice little vibe about us, a little swagger. We've got our confidence back and the way we show up and performing right now, it's a fun atmosphere."

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Fabian Ardaya is a reporter for MLB.com based in Anaheim.

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Feldman comes up clutch, spins efficient win

Feldman comes up clutch, spins efficient win

ANAHEIM -- Considering he hadn't started a game in more than two months and hadn't pitched longer than 2 2/3 innings over that stretch, Astros right-hander Scott Feldman's five innings of work in Tuesday's 7-1 win over the Angels at Angel Stadium was as clutch as it gets.

Feldman, starting for the first time since April 24 because Lance McCullers is dealing with a blister, picked up his first win as a starter since Aug. 12, 2015 against San Francisco after allowing three singles, no walks and one run, which was unearned.

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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

McCullers (blister) likely to make next start

Astros righty scratched Tuesday vs. Angels

McCullers (blister) likely to make next start

ANAHEIM -- Right-hander Lance McCullers, who was skipped from his start Tuesday because of a blister on his right index finger, is expected to be slotted back into the rotation on Monday against Seattle, which would have been his normal turn in the rotation had he thrown Tuesday.

McCullers started the season on the disabled list with right shoulder soreness and has made eight starts since his return in May, going 3-2 with a 3.91 ERA. He said he noticed the blister during his start last weekend Kansas City and said manager A.J. Hinch and the medical staff decided to skip him.

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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bregman among top prospect performers Tuesday

Twins' No. 1 prospect allows one hit in seven frames, Nats' No. 6 records career-high seven RBIs

Bregman among top prospect performers Tuesday

Jose Berrios followed up his best start of the year with a no-hit bid and an outing that was equally impressive.

The No. 15 overall prospect took a no-hitter into the seventh, but lost it on a one-out double -- the lone hit he allowed in seven scoreless frames. Berrios threw 64 of his 96 pitches for strikes, walking three and striking out six.

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William Boor is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Astros rally, make great escape to top Halos

Astros rally, make great escape to top Halos

ANAHEIM -- Jose Altuve extended his Major League-best on-base streak to a career-high 30 games and Carlos Correa drove home the winning run as the Astros beat the Angels, 4-2, in a comeback victory on Monday night.

Correa, who had the bases loaded with one out in the ninth inning against reliever Fernando Salas, knocked a sacrifice fly to right to bring in the go-ahead run, and steady Astros reliever Will Harris pitched his way out of a bases-loaded, no-outs jam in the bottom of the frame to seal the win. Houston has now won seven of its last eight games.

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Fabian Ardaya is a reporter for MLB.com based in Anaheim.

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Harris cool under pressure, passes tough test

Astros closer escapes bases-loaded jam to seal 4-2 win

Harris cool under pressure, passes tough test

ANAHEIM -- Even for someone who hasn't had the closer role for long, Astros right-hander Will Harris continues to be calm under pressure.

Harris couldn't have been in a bigger jam in the ninth inning Monday, allowing the first three batters to reach as the Angels loaded the bases with no outs while down a pair of runs. The steady Harris responded by getting a strikeout of Jett Bandy and getting Andrelton Simmons to hit into a 1-2-3 double play to seal the Astros' 4-2 win.

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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Altuve, Trout laugh after baserunning spill

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Altuve, Trout laugh after baserunning spill

History has a knack of repeating itself, but barely two days between incidents is a bit of a surprise.

That's precisely what happened in Monday's game between the Astros and Angels in Southern California, thanks to the baserunning exploits of one Mr. Mike Trout.

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Altuve closes in on All-Star Game start

Astros second baseman leads Cano by over 1 million votes in latest ballot update

Altuve closes in on All-Star Game start

ANAHEIM -- Astros second baseman Jose Altuve is closing in on his second consecutive start at second base for the American League in next month's All-Star Game, leading the voting at the position by nearly 1 million more than Robinson Cano of the Mariners in balloting totals released Monday.

Altuve entered Monday ranking second among all Major League position players in WAR (4.3), just behind the Angels' Mike Trout (4.4). He leads the AL in batting average (.347) and leads AL second basemen in on-base percentage (.425), slugging (.562), OPS (.987), hits (103), doubles (23), walks (38) and steals (18).

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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Correa rewarded for big week with AL honor

Correa rewarded for big week with AL honor

ANAHEIM -- Shortstop Carlos Correa became the fourth Astros player to win the American League Player of the Week award, which was announced Monday. Correa hit .333 (8-for-24) with six runs, four doubles, three homers, nine RBIs and a 1.282 OPS in six games. His seven extra-base hits were the most in the AL during the week, and he tied for AL lead in homers and RBIs.

At 21 years, 279 days old, Correa is the youngest player in club history to receive a Player of the Week award. Shortstop Andujar Cedeno held the previous club record, as he was 22 years, 19 days old when he received National League Player of the Week honors for the week of Sept. 2-8, 1991.

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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cameron among top prospect performers Monday

Cubs' No. 3 and No. 6 prospects combine to go 5-for-6 with 7 RBIs

Cameron among top prospect performers Monday

A pair of Top 100 Cubs prospects shined on Monday for Double-A Tennessee as Ian Happ and Billy McKinney combined to go 5-for-6 at the plate with seven RBIs to lead the Smokies past Pensacola, 12-1, in a rain-shortened game.

Happ, No. 67 overall on the Top 100, hit his ninth home run and drove in three runs in what was his third straight three-hit game for Tennessee. The 21-year-old second baseman and Cubs' No. 3 prospect owns an absurd .733/.706/1.267 slash line with two home runs, two doubles and six RBIs through five games since his promotion from Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach, where he hit .296/.410/.475 with 26 extra-base hits, 42 RBIs and 10 steals in 69 contests.

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Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

How the Astros got back in the playoff picture

21-9 record over past 30 games is second-best in baseball

How the Astros got back in the playoff picture

No matter where you get your information, the Houston Astros entered the season as consensus favorites to win the American League West. They were big favorites in MLB.com's preseason predictions. Forty-six of 55 FanGraphs staff members chose them to win the division, and FanGraphs' preseason projections gave them better than a 50 percent chance to take the division. 

You know what's a great way to dump a big bucket of cold water on some hot preseason expectations? Start your season 6-15. Do that, and you'll drop your preseason playoff odds by 37 percent before the end of April and get FanGraphs to write an article saying you're already in trouble. Another way: Start your season 17-28. Do that, and you'll drop your playoff odds to a season-worst 18 percent. By that point, it was totally reasonable to have written the Astros off, May and all.

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Astros dinged by Royals' dingers in finale loss

Astros dinged by Royals' dingers in finale loss

KANSAS CITY -- Kendrys Morales homered twice, and right-hander Ian Kennedy struck out a season-high 11 over seven strong innings as the Royals snapped a four-game losing streak with a 6-1 win over Astros on Sunday afternoon at Kauffman Stadium.

"Quite frankly, he could've had three homers today," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "He blasted that first ball, but the wind was blowing straight in.

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Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Altuve isn't buying the hype for AL MVP race

Astros second baseman focused on postseason, World Series title

Altuve isn't buying the hype for AL MVP race

KANSAS CITY -- Nearing the midpoint of the regular season, the Astros are back in the postseason picture, thanks in large part to dynamic second baseman Jose Altuve. He'll likely play in his fourth All-Star Game presented by MasterCard next month -- he's the vote leader at second for the American League -- and has put himself in the thick of the AL Most Valuable Player Award race, even if he doesn't think so.

Altuve, who entered Sunday's 6-1 loss to the Royals leading all Major League position players in WAR (4.3), singled in the fourth inning and has now reached base in a career-long-tying 29 games in a row. He entered the series finale ranked first in the AL in batting average, was second in on-base percentage, hits, stolen bases and OPS, and was third in doubles. He's also added more power this year with 13 homers and 44 RBIs.

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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Fister can't execute in first loss since April

Astros righty tagged for 3 homers in series finale against Royals

Fister can't execute in first loss since April

KANSAS CITY -- For the better part of Sunday afternoon, Astros right-hander Doug Fister was as efficient and controlling of the tempo on the mound as he's done for the past six weeks. Things unraveled quickly in the seventh, though, and the Royals handed Fister his first loss since April 25 by rallying for a 6-1 win at Kauffman Stadium.

In addition to having his personal seven-game winning streak snapped, Fister's streak of starting 10 consecutive games won by the Astros also came to an end. He gave up four runs and eight hits in 6 2/3 innings.

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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cycle crash part of stellar day for Altuve, fan

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Cycle crash part of stellar day for Altuve, fan

There were only four cycles all of last season, and just one in 2014. Point is, it's not an opportunity that comes around too often -- even if you're Jose Altuve, the current All-Star voting leader among AL second basemen and a man who can literally hit pitches above his head.

So, when Altuve stepped to the plate during Saturday night against the Royals needing just a triple to achieve baseball history, he was excited. And when he shot a ball over the head of center fielder Lorenzo Cain, he was really excited. The race was on! Third base was in sight! Nothing could stop him--

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Altuve's 4 hits, 7-run frame key Astros' victory

Altuve's 4 hits, 7-run frame key Astros' victory

KANSAS CITY -- Jose Altuve homered in a four-hit night and drove in three runs, and the Astros bolted to a huge early lead for the second straight game in a 13-5 victory over the Royals on Saturday night at Kauffman Stadium.

The Astros, who have won a season-high seven in a row and got 12 runs in the first two innings on Friday, put up seven runs in the second inning on Saturday. Altuve, whose homer was his 13th, had two doubles among his four hits. Carlos Correa homered, his 12th, and doubled in a run. The homers came back-to-back in the second.

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Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Astros prospect Reed collects first MLB RBI

Designated hitter logs sacrifice fly, scores two runs in debut vs. Royals

Astros prospect Reed collects first MLB RBI

KANSAS CITY -- Prospect A.J. Reed is still awaiting his first hit in the big leagues, but his Major League debut in the Astros' 13-5 win over the Royals on Saturday night at Kauffman Stadium was certainly eventful. Reed started at designated hitter and went 0-for-2 with two walks, two runs scored and a sac fly in the fourth inning.

"It was a good game," Reed said. "I put a good swing on the two balls that were flyouts, but I felt like my at-bats were good and I saw the ball well. You can't complain."

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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Wheels come off for Altuve, falls shy of cycle

Astros second baseman settles for 4-hit night in win over Royals

Wheels come off for Altuve, falls shy of cycle

KANSAS CITY -- There was no doubt. Jose Altuve was going for a triple. That's all that stood between him and the cycle when he came to bat in the sixth inning in the Astros' 13-5 win on Saturday night, and he told his teammates he was going to try for third if he hit a ball in the gap.

Lo and behold, Altuve walloped a pitch into the left-center-field gap and was charging into second when his helmet flew off, clipped the back of his left heel, causing him to fall and tumble on the base and settle for a double. Altuve smiled as he lay on the ground, and his teammates were falling over the dugout in laughter.

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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Martes, Tucker among top prospect performers Saturday

Nationals' No. 5 prospect strikes out 10, Marlins' No. 17 extends hitless streak to 15 frames

Martes, Tucker among top prospect performers Saturday

Strikeouts have been coming in bunches lately for Reynaldo Lopez.

On Saturday, Lopez, the Nationals' No. 5 prospect, struck out 10 hitters over a career-high eight innings to pace Double-A Harrisburg in a 4-0 shutout of New Hampshire. He scattered seven hits and walked two while throwing a season-high 112 pitches (81 strikes).

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Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.