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After skipping batting practice, Astros’ offense quieted again

The Astros’ did not take batting practice Wednesday afternoon. After their powerful offense scuffled in the first four games of the American League Championship Series, the Astros were looking for something, anything really, that would spark their bats.

Taking the afternoon off from hitting, however, was clearly not the answer.

The Astros, who led baseball with (896) and team batting average (.282) were shut out and managed just four hits Wednesday night as the fell to the Yankees 5-0 in Game 5. They return to Houston looking for answers to save their season.

“We’re trying to do too much in the box,” right fielder Josh Reddick said. “Guys are going up there thinking they can put the team on their back with one swing and you can’t get too focused on that. Just keep the line moving, we’ve been so great at that all year just chaining together hits, quit trying to do everything ourselves.”

Well, facing elimination on Friday night if they don’t get those bats going, they need to figure something out.

The Astros are 22-for-150 (.147) in this series and have not hit a home run since Carlos Correa’s ball bounced over the right-field wall at Minute Maid Park in Game 2. American League MVP front-runner Jose Altuve has run into a slump at the wrong time. He went 0-for-4 Wednesday night, marking the first time he has gone hitless in back-to-back games since September 20-21.

He’s not the only culprit. Astros manager A.J. Hinch is seeing his lineup get out of the approach they have used all season.

“It’s rare, because of how much offense we put up through the first six months of the season and even in the Division Series,” Hinch said of his team’s offensive struggles. “We’ve swung the bats very well and to this day I believe we’re one good game coming out of it…..

“The playoffs, as we talked earlier today about advanced scouting and exposing weaknesses, if they get you to crack a little bit outside of your game plan then they’ve got you,” Hinch continued. “We haven’t stayed in our game plan quite well enough to make adjustments.”

NC WEB NEW YORK CITY OUT NO SALES

Yankees vs. Astros 2017 American League Championship Series

The Astros beat Luis Severino in Game 2 of the series, but still managed to score two runs — on the Yankees young power righthander.

Alex Bregman, who went 0-for-4 Wednesday, said that the Yankees’ starters have been pretty tough this series, but he still feels the Astros will break out.

“First off they got some pretty good arms, it’s the playoffs, it’s the postseason, we’re facing the best arms in the game,” the Astros third baseman said. “We’re hitting some balls at people. It’s just gonna take one swing for a lot of people in this lineup. One swing and we’ll be back right where we need to be.”

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