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HOUSTON — With shortstop Carlos Correa battling what was described as back
stiffness Mika
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 , Astros manager A.J. Hinch opted to keep Correa
out of the lineup Tuesday against Toronto.

Correa, batting .268 with 13 home runs and 49 RBIs, missed his eighth game of
the season. Hinch is an advocate of resting his primary regulars and with
Houston playing a day game Wednesday following their 7-0 victory Tuesday night,
he opted to give Correa a break with the club also facing a grueling stretch of
play over the coming weeks.

“We’re playing 23 out of 24 days. We’re in the midst of the grind of the
season before the All-Star break and I’m always looking for a day off,” Hinch
said. “We’ve talked about rest for the better part of the last couple of weeks.
There’s another day coming probably for him and there’s probably another day off
for George (Springer), maybe even one for Jose (Altuve) before the break. All of
that added up, it made for an easy (decision) not to play him.”

Left-hander Dallas Keuchel (4-8, 3.90 ERA) will start the series finale for
the Astros (53-28).

Keuchel posted his second consecutive start without allowing an earned run on
June 22 against the Kansas City Royals, surrendering six hits and two walks with
six strikeouts over six innings. He is 3-0 with a 3.62 ERA over four career
starts against the Blue Jays, last facing Toronto on May 15, 2015, and allowing
four runs on eight hits and three walks over six innings in an 8-4 home
victory.

Right-hander Marco Estrada (4-7, 4.48 ERA) will start the rubber match for
Toronto (37-42). Estrada has pitched exceptionally this month, going 2-1 with a
1.75 ERA and 26 strikeouts over four starts and 25 2/3 innings while limiting
opposing batters to a .510 OPS. He is 2-0 with a 2.96 ERA over 12 career
appearances (six starts) against Houston.

Blue Jays All-Star third baseman Josh Donaldson experienced a setback while
rehabbing the left calf injury that landed him on the 10-day disabled list May
29. Donaldson was preparing to play in a rehab game in Florida and sustained an
injury while taking ground balls. An MRI revealed an acute strain of the left
calf, and Donaldson will be re-evaluated in three weeks.

Donaldson was trending toward a return to action, perhaps as soon as this
weekend against the Detroit Tigers. He has suffered through a largely lost
season, logging 36 games with five home runs and 16 RBIs. Donaldson missed his
25th consecutive game Tuesday and 43rd overall this season, with the Blue Jays
dropping to 21-22 without him in their lineup.

Donaldson, a free agent following the season, could be a trade chip at the
non-waiver deadline next month Womens
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 , but his injury situation leaves that
immediate future murky at best.

“The previous week we thought there was a chance,” Blue Jays manager John
Gibbons said. “He was moving along fine and then something happened. What are
you going to do?

“It’s been a frustrating year for him. He’s actually hanging in there OK
considering. But he’s frustrated.”

Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres was
placed on the 10-day disabled list on Wednesday because of a strained right hip.

Torres was removed after striking out in his second at-bat in the fourth
inning before the Yankees went on to beat the Atlanta Braves 6-2.

Before the series finale against the National League East leaders, Yankees
manager Aaron Boone was upbeat about the status of his prized rookie.

Torres did not start in Tuesday night’s win, but entered the game late as a
defensive replacement.

”We’re hoping it’s a short stint. But we think we’ve got to deal with it this
time because there is a small strain there,” Boone said outside the home
clubhouse after the game.

”Hopefully it won’t be something that it’s too long. Probably take us up to
the All-Star break.”

Boone said the club would assess the situation with a day off Thursday before
heading to Toronto for the start of an 11-game, three-city road trip leading
into the All-Star Game in Washington.

Torres is hitting .294 with 15 home runs and 42 RBIs in his first 63 major
league games.

He had an MRI and was not available to talk to reporters after the game.

Neil Walker, who went over from third base to second at the start of the
fifth inning, could get most of the work in Torres’ absence.

Another option could be Ronald Torreyes, but he’s been on the temporary
inactive list at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre for more than a week to deal
with a personal issue. Brandon Drury, who started 114 games at second for
Arizona last season, could also figure into the mix.

Boone wasn’t sure how the injury initially occurred, pointing out that Torres
had made some ”good base running plays a couple of nights ago when he moved up
on some wild pitches.”

The Yankees manager also added that if the injury had occurred late in the
season, it would’ve been ”possible” for the phenom to be back on the field
shortly.

But the team with the second-best record in baseball took the safe route.

”Anytime you’re talking about groin, hamstring, quads, once you have a strain
in there, you push through it you can make it a worse strain,” Boone said.

”And now you’re talking weeks and months. Stuff like that. So I think the
wise thing is to do this now. Gleyber wants to take a couple of days, work
through it. But I think he also understands this is the best thing for him and
for us.”


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