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HOUSTON — There were moments during the recently completed road trip when Evan Gattis‘ teammates appeared to relish his run-production exploits more than he did http://www.seahawksauthorizedshops.com/authentic-d.j.-fluker-jersey , scenes emblematic of the prevailing fondness for the Houston Astros‘ bearded designated hitter.

Gattis is among the many catalysts for the Astros, who take a 12-game winning streak into Tuesday’s game with the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Astros tied the club record set in 1999 and matched in 2004 when Alex Bregman delivered the game-winning single in the ninth inning in a 5-4 victory.

Before Bregman’s hit, Gattis was named American League Player of the Week, earning the honor for the first time in his six-season career.

Gattis hit .417 (10-for-24) with four homers and 15 RBIs for the week, the latter total representing seven more than any other player in the league.

Gattis has been a house aflame this month, leading the majors with 23 RBIs. That total leaves him six shy of the club record of 29 set by Jimmy Wynn in 1967 and matched by Jose Cruz in 1984.

On May 19, Gattis was mired in an extended season-opening slump and was batting .209. He recorded three multi-hit games over his next five starts and has wielded a hot bat ever since.

“I’m thrilled for Gatty because to know him is to know how much he carries the burden of being the DH most nights,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. “And he’s very emotional about it. He wants to contribute; he wants to do well. Had a rough start to the season and going through a few swing changes and a lot of work behinds the scenes and then he busts out and literally carries us for the better part of the road trip.

“For him to be rewarded with that recognition nationally is awesome. For the reaction inside with his teammates and coaches, everybody feels pretty good about him.”

Right-hander Justin Verlander (9-2, 1.61 ERA) will start for the Astros (49-25) on Tuesday. He leads the AL in ERA, WHIP (0.76) http://www.seahawksauthorizedshops.com/authentic-dontae-johnson-jersey , opponent batting average (.160) and OPS (.493) while ranking second in innings (100 1/3) and fourth in strikeouts (120).

He is 8-3 with a 3.29 ERA over 16 career starts against the Rays, failing to record a decision when he allowed two runs on six hits and five walks with six strikeouts over seven innings in a 5-3 win on June 15, 2017, with Detroit.

Left-hander Blake Snell (8-4, 2.58 ERA) gets the nod for the Rays (33-39). He is 0-1 with a 7.50 ERA over three career starts against Houston, failing to log more than five innings in any of those outings. Snell has made two starts at Minute Maid Park, going 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA.

Snell has yielded two or fewer runs in 12 of 15 starts this season, tied with Verlander and Yankees right-hander Luis Severino for the most such starts in the AL. That total includes eight starts surrendering one run or fewer, the second-best mark in the AL behind Verlander (nine).

The Rays’ pitcher usage remains a topic of conversation throughout the majors, with the collapse by Romo only fueling those with dissenting opinions on the strategy of employing multiple bullpen days per week. Six pitchers preceded Romo on Monday, with right-hander Matt Andriese producing the longest outing of 2 2/3 innings in Tampa Bay’s 10th loss in its last 11 road games.

“This is a tough one http://www.buccaneersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-ryan-jensen-jersey , no doubt,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “We sold out to win a ballgame. We got aggressive with the moves; they got aggressive on their side with the pinch hitting. It all basically worked in our favor until the last inning. Leadoff walk, a couple tough pitches, a couple odd things took place and then Bregman comes up and gets a big hit.”

The NFL’s oldest player is going to try to break the league’s career scoring record.

If Adam Vinatieri gets his way, it might not be the only record to fall.

On Thursday, the 45-year-old kicker signed a one-year deal to stay with the Indianapolis Colts – a deal he insists may not be his last.

Financial details were not immediately available, though the deal is believed to be in the neighborhood of last season’s $3 million salary. Vinatieri also noted during a conference call that he will receive a $250,000 bonus if he makes 88 percent of his field goal attempts next season after missing barely missing out on a bonus for making 90 percent in 2017.

But money isn’t the reason Vinatieri returned. He is playing well, wants to win and needs 58 points to surpass Morten Andersen as the league’s top scorer.

”I know 57, 58 points away is definitely within reach this year if I stay healthy and all that,” said Vinatieri http://www.buccaneersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-vinny-curry-jersey , who has scored 2,487 points. ”I really wanted to break that record wearing a Colts helmet where I’ve played the majority of the years in my career now.”

Vinatieri made his intentions clear late last year that he wanted to play a 24th pro season and his preference was to stay in Indianapolis, where he has developed deep roots since joining the Colts as a free agent in 2006.

General manager Chris Ballard quickly let Vinatieri know the team wanted him back. The combination made Indy’s first major offseason move pretty simple.

”This process was substantially easier than it was maybe a couple years ago,” Vinatieri said. ”I know when Chris and I had conversations after the season I expressed to him how if everything was moving in the right direction and everything was going to get taken care of, how much I would like to be here and continue my career here. He expressed to me that he also wanted me to keep playing here. So the process was pretty easy.”

Vinatieri acknowledged hiring Frank Reich as the new coach also helped persuade him to come back.

Reich takes over a team that went 4-12 in 2017 and played without Andrew Luck the entire season. The quarterback is still rehabbing from surgery he had on his throwing shoulder 13 months ago.

The good news is Reich knows he can count on the best clutch kicker in league history.

Vinatieri earned his reputation by making two Super Bowl-winning kicks with the New England Patriots.

But his legacy runs much deeper. He won three Super Bowls with the Patriots, a fourth championship with the Colts after the 2006 season and nearly added a fifth despite finishing the 2009 season on injured reserve.

Patriot fans also remember Vinatieri for making two field goals in a driving snowstorm – one to force the overtime, the other to win it – in the infamous ”Tuck Rule” playoff game that helped New England win its first Super Bowl title. He rekindled those images in December when he made a long extra point to help force overtime in a blizzard at Buffalo.

Vinatieri is the last active player from NFL Europe, and he has been around long enough to remind reporters he once tackled Herschel Walker.

But the Colts are more concerned with productivity than records and so far, they’ve seen no indication Vinatieri is slowing down.

”Adam is one the best players in NFL history and we are excited to keep him in Indianapolis,” Ballard said in a statement. ”He continues to play at a high level and his experience and production are valuable assets for our team. Adam is the consummate pro and a key leader in our locker room.”

He needs nine field goals to pass Gary Anderson for second all-time and 36 to break Andersen’s career record of 565.

If he sticks around a few more years, as he suggested he might http://www.redskinsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-jonathan-allen-jersey , Vinatieri won’t just be chasing Anderson and Andersen.

He also would be within striking distance of surpassing George Blanda as the oldest player to ever play in the NFL at 48 years, 109 days. Vinatieri would break the mark if he plays in the 2021 season opener.

”Less concerned about that one,” Vinatieri said, chuckling. ”I guess I’ll take these one year at a time and see where it ends up. I would anticipate if I can stay healthy and be productive, I can anticipate catching up to Morten midseason or thereabout, and I guess at the end of the year I’d be 46. I’m not putting anything out of reach.”

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