Astros move Correa into cleanup spot for ALCS Game 5
HOUSTON (AP) — Carlos Correa has been moved from seventh to fourth in the Houston Astros’ batting order for Game 5 of the AL Championship Series against the Boston Red Sox.
Astros manager AJ Hinch made the switch for his team’s must-win game Thursday night after Correa had three hits and drove in two runs in Game 4. It was the first multi-hit game this postseason for Correa, the shortstop who has struggled with back problems for months.
“At the end of the day he’s a middle-of-the-order bat. I’ve been wanting to get him back in the middle of the order,” Hinch said. “Why not now? There may be no tomorrow, literally.”
Red Sox first baseman Mitch Moreland, who injured his right hamstring in Game 2 of the AL Division Series, gets his first start in the ALCS.
Alex Bregman was still in the leadoff spot for Houston and Jose Altuve was the designated hitter for the third game in a row because of his bruised right knee.
“He’s playing on one leg. If this was the regular season there’s no way he could play,” Hinch said.
“He’s not going to hurt himself any further,” the manager said. “He’s part of our heart and soul so you’re going to have to drag him off the field.”
Moreland didn’t play in the ALDS clincher against the Yankees, but made pinch-hitting appearances in each of the first four ALCS games.
Second baseman Ian Kinsler was also back in Boston’s starting lineup, batting sixth behind Moreland against Astros right-hander Justin Verlander. Third baseman Rafael Devers dropped from fifth to seventh in the order.