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HOUSTON (AP) — Carlos Correa is in pain.Every swing and miss hurts Hisashi Iwakuma 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 Ken Griffey Jersey , 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, 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 http://www.marinersfanproshop.com/authentic-ichiro-suzuki-jersey ,” 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. ATLANTA — The Atlanta Braves didn’t have to face David Price during a May series in Boston and now they’ll miss the Red Sox left-hander again just when he has been pitching his best baseball of the season.Price was on schedule to start the opener of the three-game interleague series between the Red Sox and the Braves on Monday, but he was hit on the left wrist by a line drive in the third inning against Miami last week.Although Price said afterward that he hoped he wouldn’t miss a start and didn’t want to, the Red Sox decided to be safe rather than sorry.Article continues below ...Right-hander Nathan Eovaldi will start in Price’s place at SunTrust Park, with the Braves calling on right-hander Touki Toussaint for his second major league appearance.The Braves plan to go with a six-man rotation the final month of the regular season as they try to hold off Philadelphia in the National League East. Toussaint was promoted from Triple-A on Saturday when rosters could expand.Atlanta’s lead is back to four games after the Braves (76-60) took two of three from the Pittsburgh Pirates in a weekend series while the Phillies were losing two of three to the Chicago Cubs.Eovaldi didn’t allow a run in 15 innings of his first two starts after being acquired from Tampa Bay, but he has struggled since. He is 2-3 with a 4.50 ERA in seven starts for the Red Sox The last one on Friday was limited to two innings because of rain. He has surrendered 13 runs in his past three games.Eovaldi is 2-3 with a 2.82 ERA in 13 career starts against Atlanta and is 2-1 with a 2.06 ERA in six interleague starts for the Rays and Red Sox this season.Price will throw off the mound while the Red Sox are in Atlanta and could start against Houston next weekend in Boston.“It should be Houston or the next series Kyle Seager Jersey ,” Boston manger Joey Cora said on Sunday before the Red Sox concluded a series against the White Sox in Chicago. “We’re not worried. He’s in good spirits. He should be fine.”Toussaint made an impressive debut on Aug. 13 in a spot start, limiting Miami to two hits and a run in six innings. He struck out four and walked two.“Very excited to see him again,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “When he left here, he continued to pitch really, really good. He’s had some kind of year and come a long way.”The 22-year-old made eight starts for Triple-A Gwinnett after starting the season in Double-A and was 5-0 with a 1.43 ERA. He struck out 56 and walked 17 in 50 1/3 innings.Facing the Red Sox, who have the best record in the majors at 94-44 and a 7 1/2-game lead in the American League, will be a step up for Toussaint after facing the Marlins in his debut.“You dream of this as a little kid,” he said. “You want to be in the World Series pitching against the best.”The Red Sox took two of the three games against the Braves in Boston. The Red Sox are 11-3 in interleague games and the Braves are 8-9.
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