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Houston Astros News: June 9, 2017

Your one-stop shop for Houston Astros and news from around the league for Friday, June 9, 2017.

Houston Astros v Kansas City Royals Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Astros News

Lance McCullers, 9th-inning surge power Astros past Royals

Jose Altuve launched a go-ahead home run in the ninth inning and the Astros defeated the Kansas City Royals, 6-1, Thursday night at Kauffman Stadium to cap an 8-2 road trip.

Astros tag Royals closer Kelvin Herrera for four runs in 6-1 victory

The secondary pitches in Kelvin Herrera’s repertoire have prompted an uneven first year as the Royals’ closer. So on Thursday, as the reigning American League batting champion stood in the right-handed box, Herrera returned to the top weapon in his arsenal.

Astros ace Dallas Keuchel placed back on disabled list

The Astros' depleted rotation will be without its ace for an undetermined period of time.

Astros call up top pitching prospect Francis Martes from AAA

This probably wasn't the scenario the Astros envisioned for when they called up Francis Martes for the first time.

McCullers features ace-like stuff against KC

Astros right-hander Lance McCullers Jr. has ace-like stuff and an ace-like makeup. At his best, he combines 94-mph power with a knee-buckling, bat-shattering curveball that might be the best in the game.

MLB Draft: Astros see strength in Nos. 15-75

With the best record in the Major Leagues and a strong farm system to boot, the Astros have a chance to fatten the cat in this year's MLB Draft with five of the first 91 picks, including two extra picks -- Nos. 56 and 75 -- they received from the Cardinals in the wake of the hacking scandal.

With depleted rotation, Astros host Angels (Jun 09, 2017)

In the span of two days, the Houston Astros transitioned from threatening the franchise record for consecutive victories to operating a shuttle between Kansas City and Fresno, Calif., in a desperate search for viable rotation depth.

Around the League

What’s going on with all the veteran surges around baseball?

Gordon Beckham is going to hit 40 homers next year, and other lessons from 2017.

The AL Central is a complete mess

Thursday’s Say Hey, Baseball looks at the AL Central race, the Weird Baseball Hall of Fame, and the history of the Gatorade bath in baseball.

The Blue Jays Are Getting Hot, But It May Already Be Too Late

Less than a month into the season, the Toronto Blue Jays seemed as good as dead.

A Tale of Two Easts

So far this season, the AL East has played like one of the strongest divisions in baseball history, while the NL East has looked like one of the weakest. What’s caused it? And will it last?

5 Biggest Trade Deadline Questions

Right now, every Major League front office is waist deep in the Draft waters, angling for the amateur talent that is going to shape squads in the future (here's how to watch and what to watch for once the 2017 MLB Draft begins on Monday). But as soon as we come out of that event -- which will go through Wednesday -- it'll be time to start talking about the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline and the search for the players that could help shape the outcome of the 2017 playoff races.