MLB Baseball

Final-12 4 5 6   7 8 9   10 11 12   R H E
Houston1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3121
LA Angels0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 470
  W: T. Cahill (4-9)   L: J. Biagini (3-2)
7:07 PM PT8:07 PM MT9:07 PM CT10:07 PM ET22:07 ET2:07 GMT10:07 7:07 PM MST9:07 PM EST9:37 PM VEN6:07 UAE (+1)9:07 PM CT, September 26, 2019
Angel Stadium of Anaheim, Anaheim, California  Attendance: 39,658

Astros prepping for playoffs ahead of Angels

Several of the Houston Astros' frontline players will not be in the lineup Thursday when the club begins a regular season-ending, four-game series against the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim, Calif.

The Astros have long since clinched the American League West and are preparing for the playoffs, so George Springer, Yuri Gurriel and Jose Altuve are expected to get a day off to rest.

Likewise, Carlos Correa will not be in the lineup, but his absence is related to a sore back that kept him out of action both Tuesday and Wednesday in games against the Seattle Mariners.

Correa missed 25 games with a back issue from Aug. 20-Sept. 16, and also was slowed by back issues the second half of last season. But this time, Correa said the problem is not as serious, his back tightening up on the flight from Houston to Seattle last Friday.

"I'm taking it day by day," Correa said. "Obviously, the playoffs is the main focus right now. I don't want to force the issue at all, especially these last (four) games. So we're playing it smart and shooting for the playoffs. That's when I'll be able to perform for the team."

Astros manager A.J. Hinch said his concern is more than just getting Correa healthy; it's also making sure the time off doesn't make him rusty.

"There's certain timing and rhythm and playing he needs to do to make us all feel better," Hinch said. "He played very well when he was active a couple of days ago. He's very, very good. I know he'll be able to respond. I think anybody in my seat will feel better when he's on the field and playing.

"It's disappointing for him and it's disappointing for us. We'll go day to day. We have a few days left to try to figure this out."

Left-hander Wade Miley, who will start on the mound for Houston, has had a good season but sometimes gets overlooked being in a rotation with Zack Greinke, Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole. Miley is 14-6 with a 3.91 ERA in 32 starts.

Miley's start will be his fifth against the Angels this season. He was the winning pitcher in the first three, but lost in his most recent start against them last Friday, getting knocked out of the game after just one inning and giving up four runs.

Jaime Barria, who will start for the Angels, is 4-10 with a 6.43 ERA in 18 games (12 starts), and has struggled in particular late in the season. Barria is 1-8 with a 7.16 ERA since the All-Star break.

His most recent start last Thursday came against the Astros in Houston, and he was hammered for four home runs, including three in the first inning. Angels manager Brad Ausmus wants to make sure Barria, 23, benefits from the experience he's gotten this year but is not negatively affected by his recent struggles.

"I really just wanted his focus to be forward," Ausmus said. "I didn't want him to concern himself with what had already happened because you can't do anything about it."

--Field Level Media

Updated September 26, 2019

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