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HOUSTON (AP) — Carlos Correa is in pain.Every swing and miss hurts Shane Greene Jersey , and on the bad days it can even be uncomfortable for the Houston Astros star shortstop to walk.Correa often puts on a brave face but told The Associated Press how much this is affecting him as the Astros prepare to leave for Boston and the best-of-seven AL Championship Series that begins on Saturday.“You’re a competitor so every time you step on the field you play it off like everything is fine,” he said Wednesday. “But obviously you’re hurting.”Correa returned from a six-week stint on the disabled list on Aug. 10 and declared that he was better. But he has struggled to regain his top form. He hit just .180 in the second half of the season and managed a single hit — a home run — in an ALDS, looking nothing like the player who made the All-Star team last season and was the 2015 rookie of the year.He said it bothers him most at the plate, and it’s been impossible to get back to how he felt before the injury.“Not only to find my swing, just to feel comfortable at the plate when I swing,” he said. “Because I know every time I swing and miss it’s going to hurt. So, I try not to swing and miss and then I try to baby my swing and I don’t swing as hard as I usually do or as quick as I usually do. So, it’s definitely been tough.”Correa said there’s been a domino effect of pain in other areas, most notably in his obliques, as he tries to avoid doing things that make his back hurt.He’s receiving treatment “24/7,” but the pain remains. He’s using a foam roller at home and been sporadically taking anti-inflammatories.“It’s just a pain down in my lower back that doesn’t let me move right,” he said. “When I bend over, when I rotate. Sometimes when I wake up and I walk in the morning, I know it’s not going to be a good day.”He’s accepted that the aching likely will be with him until he gets an extended rest. He’s trying not to let it weigh on him, but in private moments at home with his fiancee Daniella Rodriguez, he laments that he simply hasn’t been himself this season.“When I go to sleep at night Sparky Anderson Jersey , I think about especially this year (how) I’m not performing the way I know I can perform, it’s just been tough,” he said. “Sometimes I talk to Daniella and I’m like: ‘There’s nothing I can do about it. I’m hurting.’ But I’m a competitor so you grind, you try to perform. But it’s definitely … been frustrating at times.”Despite his woes, Correa started all three games of the ALDS and continues to play stellar defense, something he takes pride in as he struggles at the plate. And though he was just 1 for 10 against the Indians, his one hit was a big one — a three-run homer in the clinching game — providing hope that maybe things are getting better.“I feel like I had really good at-bats in the series vs. Cleveland, just not getting lucky with the balls I hit hard,” he said. “But that one fell, and it gives me a lot of confidence going into this series.”Manager AJ Hinch was asked if he’s concerned about Correa.“Not now,” he said. “We (have) four days off. We get to press the reset button. You don’t just get to press pause either way. We had some guys get six and seven hits in that series, but you have to start over again, new opponent. So, no it doesn’t concern me.”Correa is focused on keeping a positive attitude as he fights through this and is determined to do all he can to help the Astros repeat as champions.“It’s been a tough year. But it’s not the end of the world,” he said. “I keep grinding every single day. I keep trying to find ways to help my team. I thought my defense this year was excellent and I’m looking forward to winning another championship and getting some rest.”“And come back next year strong and be the player that I am,” he continued. CINCINNATI (AP) — The sight of Cincinnati’s Billy Hamilton speeding home with the potential tying run didn’t shake up Yonder Alonso.Cleveland’s first baseman calmly fielded Joey Votto’s bouncer and made a strong throw to catcher Roberto Perez www.tigersfanproshop… , cutting down Hamilton for the first out of the ninth inning. Just like that, the Reds went from second and third with nobody out to first and second with one out, and Cleveland held on for a 4-3 win on Wednesday night.“He’s a fast runner, so I had to make sure to not only throw with a lot of zip, but that it was accurate,” Alonso said. “It was huge. It gave us first and second with one out. That opens up a lot of different things.”Melky Cabrera lofted a go-ahead two-run homer into the left-field seats in the sixth inning, and the Indians extended their winning streak to five games.The Indians held the Reds scoreless after a three-run first. In the sixth, Cody Reed (0-1) walked Alonso before allowing Cabrera’s third homer of the season.“It’s nice,” Alonso said about having Cabrera in the lineup. “He enjoys the game. He plays with a chip on his shoulder.”Four relievers combined for 3 2/3 scoreless innings before Brad Hand escaped trouble with Alonso’s help in the ninth for his 28th save in 33 opportunities.“Hoo, boy,” Cleveland manager Terry Francona said. “I don’t know where to start. Cody Allen gave us two innings of high-leverage relief. A lot of good things happened in that game.”Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman had no problem with the decision by Hamilton, who reached third on Jose Peraza’s ground-rule double.“Billy was going on contact because it is Billy,” Riggleman said. “If Votto hit it in a position where he could score, it’s tied. What was supposed to happen if Billy’s out is I wanted Peraza to go to third. I know (Eugenio) Suarez had a rough night, but I want him up there with a man on third and less than two outs.”Suarez, second in the NL in RBIs going into the game Michael Fulmer Jersey , struck out five times, the last in the ninth.Greg Allen had two hits and drove in a run, helping the Indians finish their first sweep of a three-game series against the Reds since 2015 and the first in Cincinnati since 1999. The AL Central leaders have won seven of eight overall.The free-falling Reds were 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position and left 11 runners on base while slipping to 4-11 since winning three straight in late July over the Phillies.Shane Bieber allowed Scooter Gennett’s RBI single and Preston Tucker’s two-run homer in the first. It was Tucker’s first homer for Cincinnati since being acquired from Atlanta on July 30 as part of the package for Adam Duvall.Bieber regrouped from there and lasted 4 1/3 innings, allowing seven hits and two walks with five strikeouts and a wild pitch.Dan Otero (2-1) got Phillip Ervin to fly out with the bases loaded and two outs in the fifth to earn the win.After walking five in four innings of his season debut on Aug. 8, Reds starter Robert Stephenson walked four while giving up two hits and two runs with two strikeouts and a wild pitch in 1 2/3 innings. He threw 57 pitches, just 26 of them strikes.BEEN A WHILEThe Reds’ lead over the Indians was their first since they scored seven runs in the ninth inning of a 7-4 win at Cleveland on July 10. The Indians outscored Cincinnati by a combined 37-8 in between Reds leads.PITCH COUNTStephenson has needed a combined 133 pitches to get through 5 2/3 innings of his first two starts, issuing a total of nine walks along the way.MOPCleveland’s Jose Ramirez became the first unanimous winner of the Ohio Cup Most Outstanding Player award in voting by Cincinnati and Cleveland media. He hit five home runs and drove in 11 runs while the Indians were winning four of the six games in the intrastate rivalry.TRAINER’S ROOMIndians: RHP Josh Tomlin, out since July 16 with a right hamstring strain, will pitch on Saturday for either Triple-A Columbus or Double-A Akron. Tomlin threw 4 1/3 innings in a rehab appearance on Monday.UP NEXTIndians: RHP Carlos Carrasco (14-6, 3.50 ERA) is scheduled to start the opener of a brief three-game homestand against www.mobilgamer.cz/fo… on Friday.Reds: RHP Anthony DeSclafani (6-3, 4.45) is 2-0 with a 0.64 ERA in three career starts against the Giants, his opponent in the opener of a three-game home series on Friday.
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