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HOUSTON — It was yet another example of what the Houston Astros look like when their lineup depth flashes [url=http://www.lionscheapstore.com/customized-cheap]Cheap Customized Detroit Lions Jerseys[/url] , their fourth win in their final at-bat this season offering a glimpse of potential even when everything didn’t quite fall into place.

As the Astros (51-27) near the halfway point of the schedule on Sunday against the Kansas City Royals, they recognize fully that they will require more wins like the one they recorded on Saturday to keep pace in the chase for the best record in the American League.

They were handcuffed by a scuffling pitcher for seven innings before the bottom third of their order helped complete a game-tying rally in the ninth.

And, while Houston failed to walk it off in the 11th, the bottom third of its order generated just enough traffic for the heavy hitters to come to bat in the 12th and secure the 4-3 victory.

Designated hitter Evan Gattis, batting seventh, produced the game-tying RBI with his sacrifice fly in the ninth inning following an 0-for-3 start to his evening. Marwin Gonzalez, batting eighth, walked in both of his final two plate appearances after recording three strikeouts against Royals starter Ian Kennedy. By churning out quality plate appearances, the job was easier up top.

“We’re at our best when those guys are doing something at the bottom,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. “That takes a lot of pressure off the top of the order or the middle of the order to have to do it every time. That’s why we think we have a complete team.”

Right-hander Gerrit Cole (8-1 [url=http://www.packerscheapstore.com/customized-cheap]Cheap Customized Green Bay Packers Jerseys[/url] , 2.59 ERA) will start the series finale for the Astros in the rubber match. Cole did not factor into the decision in his last start, a 5-4 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday, after allowing four runs on three hits and five walks with eight strikeouts over seven innings.

He made his lone start against the Royals on July 21, 2015, allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits with six strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings in a 3-2 loss at Kauffman Stadium when he pitched for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Right-hander Jason Hammel (2-8, 4.88 ERA) gets the starting nod for the Royals. Hammel is 2-2 with a 2.85 ERA over nine career appearances (eight starts) against the Astros, including a 1.74 ERA over his last three starts. He hasn’t pitched at Minute Maid Park since 2014.

Hammel, who issued a season-high four walks in his previous outing, has issued two or fewer walks in 11 of 15 appearances this season and is tied for fifth in the American League with 37 starts with two or fewer walks since the start of 2017. His four walks against the Texas Rangers snapped a 37-start streak of walking three or few batters dating back to May 29, 2017.

After delivering at the plate and in the field for the Royals (23-53) in the opener [url=http://www.jaguarscheapstore.com/customized-cheap]Cheap Customized Jacksonville Jaguars Jerseys[/url] , right fielder Rosell Herrera had a quiet night on Saturday, going 0-for-4 with a walk. Claimed off waivers from Cincinnati on June 2, Herrera was recalled from Triple-A Omaha last Sunday and has worked to show the defensive range and offensive versatility that could make him an asset as the Royals take extended looks at some of the younger players on their major league roster.

“He’s athletic, he’s fast,” Royals manager Ned Yost said of Herrera. “He seems to swing the bat OK from both sides. It’s only been a week. There’s a lot to like looking at him on a short look.”

The NFL has established a player-owner committee focusing on social and racial justice initiatives that Commissioner Roger Goodell cautions is just a start, with lots of work ahead.

Goodell credited ”unprecedented dialogue” for helping players and owners get to the point of Tuesday’s announcement. He said the committee will focus on education, economic development, community and police relations and the criminal justice system.

”We feel that we are going to make significant progress as we have more meetings, as we get more focused on our efforts, it’s going to actually come to life [url=http://www.officialoilers.com/authentic-adidas-ryan-strome-jersey]Ryan Strome Jersey[/url] ,” Goodell said. ”And frankly, we will get better as the days go by.”

The league also said Tuesday it is beginning a ”Let’s Listen Together” campaign that includes digital content and commercials highlighting player-led work on equality issues. That platform will include social media support and letters from players and owners.

Owners on the committee are Arizona’s Michael Bidwill, Atlanta’s Arthur Blank, Jacksonville’s Shahid Khan, Cleveland’s Jimmy Haslam and Miami’s Stephen Ross. Current players Chris Long, Josh Norman, and Kelvin Beachum, Pro Football Hall of Famer Aeneas Williams and former player Anquan Boldin are on the committee.

Blank said he was impressed with the consensus among owners and players at a meeting in December at the league office. The Falcons owner also sees these issues requiring sustainability.

”Clearly, we’re not at the end of the fourth quarter,” Blank said.

This season [url=http://www.officialoilers.com/authentic-adidas-wayne-gretzky-jersey]Wayne Gretzky Jersey[/url] , many players took knees during the national anthem to protest social and racial injustice, drawing rebukes from President Donald Trump.

Boldin says the initiative should be ”celebrated” because the NFL is the ”first professional league or entity that has taken the concerns of its players and put resources behind it.”

”We’re dedicated to making a difference in our communities,” Boldin said. ”We’re dedicated to seeing a difference in our criminal justice system. We’re dedicated to educating not only ourselves, but the public as well how there are different biases when it comes to our criminal justice system. We’re excited about the partnership and the backing of the NFL that we have now.”

Linebacker Demario Davis of the New York Jets thanked owner Chris Johnson for sitting down with players and supporting them during sessions that included meetings with public defenders.

Defensive end Long credited Eagles teammate Malcolm Jenkins for his work and socially conscious team owner Jeffrey Lurie for his support as they work for ”common sense reforms.”

Long noted Jenkins rounded up some of the Eagles for a trip to the state capital to meet with lawmakers hours after a Monday night game. He said some of the Eagles also have met Philadelphia police and attended bail hearings, which he called an arbitrary process.

”We do have a powerful voice,” Long said.




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