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A look at what’s happening around the majors Thursday:BACK AT ITAstros shortstop Carlos Correa is trying to get his aching back as healed as possible before Houston’s AL Championship Series opener Saturday. Correa told The Associated Press on Wednesday that although he’s tried to put on a brave face http://www.raysfanproshop.com/authentic-c.-j.-cron-jersey , his back is hurting him on every swing and miss, and on the bad days it can even be uncomfortable to walk. Correa returned from a six-week stint on the DL on Aug. 10 and declared he was better, but he hit just .180 in the second half of the season and had just one hit — a homer — while Houston swept Cleveland in their three-game AL Division Series.“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.”STURDY DEFENSEIndians manager Terry Francona is still feeling a “sting” from Cleveland’s early postseason exit Jesus Sucre Jersey , but he’s not letting the blame fall on one of his biggest stars. Francona got defensive Wednesday when pressed about Jose Ramirez’s struggles. Ramirez went hitless in 11 at-bats during an AL Division Series sweep, continuing a slide that began in mid-August and cost the All-Star any chance of being named MVP.Francona stiffened when a reporter said Ramirez “killed” the Indians.“What do you mean it killed us?” Francona snapped. “We won the division by 15 games.“He got himself into a predicament and he couldn’t get himself out of it,” he added. “It’s hard to figure out because a guy can be that good, that dominant and then he just couldn’t get … he kept peeling off balls even when he got pitches to hit. He kind of peeled off and he knew it and he watched video and he just couldn’t get the feeling of staying through the ball.”MAKING MOVESThe Nationals aren’t waiting for the World Series to end to get going on their 2019 roster. Washington acquired reliever Kyle Barraclough from Miami on Wednesday, its first offseason move to rebuild its bullpen. Barraclough went 1-6 with 4.20 ERA and 10 saves in 17 chances during 61 appearances this year. He allowed one hit in 36 at-bats in June, when he was chosen NL reliever of the month, but struggled with his command the rest of the season.Washington sent the Marlins $1 million in international slot allotment as part of the deal. Miami may use the space to acquire 22-year-old Cuban outfielder Victor Victor Mesa http://www.raysfanproshop.com/authentic-jonny-venters-jersey , who worked out at Marlins Park for big league scouts last week. The Chicago White Sox will try to snap a five-game losing streak when they visit the Kansas City Royals to open a three-game series Monday night at Kauffman Stadium.Chicago (56-87) has struggled against most of the American League this season, but it has fared much better against Kansas City. The White Sox are 10-6 against the Royals this season with a dominant run differential of 94-69.This marks the final series of the season between the teams, who occupy the last two spots in the AL Central.Article continues below ...Kansas City (47-95) trails only the Baltimore Orioles for the worst record in baseball. Barring a late surprise, the Royals will have the No. 2 overall pick in next year’s draft as it attempts to dig out of a multiyear tailspin.The Royals will try to bounce back from a 3-1 walk-off loss to the Minnesota Twins on Sunday afternoon. Royals reliever Jason Hammel gave up a double to Max Kepler and a homer to Willians Astudillo, all with two outs, for the team’s fourth loss in its past five games.White Sox right-hander Lucas Giolito (10-10, 5.85 ERA) will make his 29th start. The 24-year-old has shown improvement since the All-Star break Matt Moore Jersey , posting five quality starts in his last seven outings, but he is coming off a turbulent game in which he gave up five runs (four earned) in 1 1/3 innings against the Detroit Tigers.In five career outings against the Royals, Giolito is 3-0 with a 2.01 ERA. He picked up his first win against Kansas City in 2017 and has two victories in three starts against the club in 2018.White Sox manager Rick Renteria said Giolito and fellow starter Reynaldo Lopez have thrown more strikes lately.“Their lines to the plate are better,” Renteria recently said to reporters. “(Pitching coach Don Cooper) talks to those guys. They talk about back-to-front, keeping a good line, ‘staying in the tunnel,’ as he talks about.“I think they understand they’re not always going to make a perfect pitch http://www.diamondbacksfanproshop.com/authentic-alex-avila-jersey , but they make adjustments a little quicker now. If they pull off line, those are one of the things that — especially in talking to them — that they’re able to recover. They know exactly what they’re doing, and they’re able to make the adjustment.”For the Royals, right-hander Jakob Junis (8-12, 4.32 ERA) will make his 27th start. He has won back-to-back outings, limiting opponents to two earned runs in his past 16 innings for a 1.13 ERA during that span. One more victory will tie his career high of nine, which he set as a rookie last year.Junis is 1-1 with a 6.48 ERA in three career starts against the White Sox. The Sterling http://www.rangersfanproshop.com/authentic-darwin-barney-jersey , Ill., native has surrendered a half-dozen home runs in 16 2/3 innings while walking eight and striking out 15.Less than two weeks ago, Junis posted the first complete game of his career.“It’s awesome,” Junis said to the Kansas City Star. “That’s a goal you set to do. … Hopefully more to come.”
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