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Houston Astros News: June 23, 2017

Your one-stop shop for Houston Astros and news from around the league for Friday, June 23, 2017.

MLB: Houston Astros at Oakland Athletics Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Astros News

Astros use 8-run inning to complete sweep of Athletics

After scoring twice in the first inning, they broke out for eight runs in the second inning en route to a 12-9 win and a four-game sweep of the A's.

Jesse Hahn’s ghastly start sets up A’s 10th straight home loss to Astros

Stephen Vogt could be thankful for two things in the wake of being designated for assignment on Thursday. He didn’t have to catch a totally out-of-sync Jesse Hahn, and he didn’t have to suffer through yet another A’s defeat at the hands of the Houston Astros.

Astros' Charlie Morton pitches 2 innings in first rehab start

Charlie Morton logged two innings and threw 36 pitches for Class AAA Fresno on Thursday night in the first start of his minor league rehab assignment.

50 is the new, Lordy! Astros pile up wins

The Astros won their 50th game of the season on Thrusday afternoon, holding off an A’s rally for a 12-9 victory to compete a four-game sweep at Oakland Coliseum.

Historic pace not fazing red-hot Astros

With Thursday’s 12-9 win over the A’s at the Coliseum, the Astros secured a four-game sweep and became the first Major League team to reach in the 50-win benchmark in 2017.

How Many Houston Astros Will Go to the MLB All-Star Game?

Four years doesn't seem all that long ago, until you think of where Houston was as a sports city this time back in 2013 — Matt Schaub was the Texans quarterback, the Rockets were preparing to fly virtually the whole organization to Los Angeles to woo Dwight Howard in free agency, and the Astros were in the middle of a 51-111 season.

Around the League

Freddie Freeman might convert to third base, and the odds would be against him

The headline I wanted was “Freddie Freeman might convert to third base, where he would flop,” but that seems rude.

MLB’s 5 Most Fun Player Debates

Mike Trout vs. Bryce Harper was a thing for a while there, until Trout made his case convincingly (and historically) clear. Harper vs. Manny Machado was looking pretty good, but, in 2017, with Harper putting up early MVP credentials and Machado starting slowly, it really hasn't been a topic worth debating.

Baseball’s Mediocre Teams Are Disappearing

Today’s MLB is full of tankers and contenders.

In the age of the super reliver, Craig Kembrel may be the best

After a few years of decline, he might be the best reliever in baseball once again. Boston’s closer is better than ever.