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Astros Crawfish Boil: September 15, 2015

Checking in on the AL playoff race, injury updates and other news from around the league.

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Astros news:

Jed Lowrie leaves with left shin contusion
To add insult to injury the Astros may be without Lowrie for a few days.

Astros report: Carlos Gomez to miss series in Arlington with minor intercostal strain
Other news on the injury front includes Jason Castro nearing full speed and Marwin Gonzalez out with a sore finger.

George Springer is Clemente Award nominee
Outfielder George Springer was announced as the Astros' nominee for the 2015 Roberto Clemente Award on Monday, given annually to the Major Leaguer who best represents the game through positive contributions on and off the field, recognizing sportsmanship and community involvement.

Matt Duffy joins Astros from Triple-A Fresno

With his phone on silent in his hotel room on Sunday afternoon, Matt Duffy missed a call. Soon, Fresno Grizzlies manager Tony DeFrancesco was forced to knock on Duffy's door, giving him the news he'd waited all season for -- he'd been called up and would join the first-place Astros in Arlington for their crucial four-game series with the second-place Rangers.

Checking in on the AL playoff picture:

Prince pulls Rangers closer to the top
In case you missed it...Prince Fielder hit a two-run home run in the eighth inning, giving the Rangers a 5-3 victory over the Astros. The victory moved the Rangers to within a half-game of the Astros in the American League West, and the two teams are tied in the loss column.

Yankees rally in ninth to defeat Rays
Slade Heathcott connected for a go-ahead, three-run home run off closer Brad Boxberger, capping a four-run, ninth-inning rally as the Yankees stunned the Rays, 4-1, on Monday night at Tropicana Field. The Yankees were down to their final out in the ninth before mounting the four run rally (not quite as impressive as the Astros five run ninth the other day, but close).

Twins beat Tigers, stay game back in Wild Card
Rookie Tyler Duffey tossed 6 1/3 strong innings while the Twins jumped on the Tigers early en route to a 7-1 win on Monday night at Target Field. It helped the Twins keep pace in the chase for the second American League Wild Card spot. Minnesota, which has won four of its last five, remained one game behind Texas. Unfortunately this means the Astros only hold a one and a half game lead over the final playoff spot...

Royals aren't in panic mode in AL Central race
The losing stretch is eight out of 10 for the Royals after they dropped an 8-3 decision to the Indians on Monday night in the opener of a four-game set. But throughout the clubhouse, the Royals insist they are not concerned. They are still nine games in front of the Twins -- 7-1 winners over the White Sox on Monday -- in the American League Central title chase with just 19 to go. It would take a historic collapse to miss the playoffs.

Angeles lose 10-1 in Seattle
The Mariners plated three in the second inning and never looked back, blowing the game open with a six run seventh. Seattle is now only five games under .500, while the Angeles remain 4.5 games back in the race for the AL West.

David Price and the entire Blue Jays team took a field trip to MNF for the Eagles-Falcons game
Well, the Blue Jays have a 3.5-game lead atop the AL East and had the day off, so they were looking to have a little fun when they got to Atlanta for a three-game Interleague series against the Braves.

Stories from around the league:

MLB announces 2015 Roberto Clemente Award nominees -

Here are the rest of the nominees for MLB's annual Roberto Clemente Award.

Island hoping in baseball: Can MLB reclaim Puerto Rico? - LA Times

In Southern California, where three teams play within driving distance, a kid can attend a Major League Baseball game just about every day, dreaming about playing on the field in front of him. We tend to forget about the kids scattered hundreds or thousands of miles from the nearest ballpark, and the dreams confined to television and, perhaps, a family vacation.

September Rule 5 Roundup

As Astros fans are already aware of and perhaps a little bitter about, this year’s Rule 5 draft class has shown that the Winter Meeting-capping selection process still has meaning. As Baseball America’s J.J. Cooper explained recently, a remarkably high-quality group of players swapped hands last December, and odds are that few of them will end up returning to their original teams.