The Houston Astros may have cooled off but still claimed the top spot in USA TODAY Sports' MLB power rankings. For the second straight week, the Astros - who swept the Miami Marlins but were swept by Cleveland - topped the Washington Nationals after receiving all but one first-place vote. Meanwhile, the Texas Rangers have won 11 of their last 12 games and are now 5 1/2 games behind Houston in the AL West. From 1 to 30, how they stack up based on voting from our 10-person panel: TEAM. MOVEMENT 1. Houston Astros: -- ►Luke Gregerson auctions off World Baseball Classic eagle for $51,000. 2. Washington Nationals: -- ►Stephen Strasburg has faced 244 batters and given up just four homers. 3. New York
Adam Wainwright was the only St. Louis Cardinals starter to allow a run in their weekend series with the San Francisco Giants. Wainwright permitted just one run and five hits in 6 1/3 innings Sunday in winning his fourth consecutive decision as St. Louis salvaged the series finale 8-3 at sold-out Busch Stadium. In upping his record to 4-3, Wainwright walked three and fanned five, showcasing more swing-and-miss stuff than he has in almost every other start this year. Wainwright struck out the side in the second to escape a two-on, none-out jam and attracted 13 swings and misses on his 109 pitches, departing after slipping a called third strike past pinch-hitter Michael Morse in the seventh.
First baseman James Loney has requested and received his release from the Atlanta Braves' triple-A Gwinnett team. The 33-year-old Loney signed a minor league deal with the team on Thursday after the Braves learned first baseman Freddie Freeman will miss about 10 weeks with a fractured left wrist. On Saturday, the Braves acquired Matt Adams from the St. Louis Cardinals. Adams was immediately inserted into Atlanta's starting lineup on Sunday, blocking Loney's path to the majors. Braves general manager John Coppolella said Saturday the team wouldn't have signed Loney if it knew it would be able to trade for Adams. Etc. The Seattle Mariners have recalled catcher Mike Zunino and pitcher Emilio Pagan