Correa expected to play for Astros in Division Series

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HOUSTON (AP) - Houston Astros manager A.J. Hinch expects shortstop Carlos Correa to play on Friday the AL Division Series opener.

Correa missed the last week of the regular season because of a sore back, but Hinch said Wednesday that he has been working out all week and feels great.

Hinch says Justin Verlander will start Game 1 on Friday against Oakland or Tampa Bay, followed by Cole on Saturday in Game 2 and Zack Greinke in the third game. Hinch wouldn’t commit to a Game 4 starter. Houston could go with rookie José Urquidy instead of veteran Wade Miley after the left-hander had a 16.68 ERA in five starts in September.

The 25-year-old Correa played just 75 games this season after sitting out from May 26-July 26 with a broken rib. He missed a month with the back problem, which also caused him to sit out last week.

Hinch said Correa took pitches in batting practice on Wednesday and faced Will Harris in one inning of a simulated game.

Hinch says Correa: “looks great and was moving around in a normal fashion.”

Correa hit .279 with 21 homers and 59 RBIs this season.