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Moreland improving, still uncertain for ALCS

Hamstring injury may force Red Sox to shuffle playoff roster
MLB.com @IanMBrowne

BOSTON -- First baseman Mitch Moreland showed up to Fenway Park feeling better on Thursday, but the Red Sox aren't sure if he will be ready by Game 1 of the American League Championship Series.

The Red Sox have until Saturday morning to set their roster, and they could wait until close to the deadline to make sure Moreland is good to go.

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BOSTON -- First baseman Mitch Moreland showed up to Fenway Park feeling better on Thursday, but the Red Sox aren't sure if he will be ready by Game 1 of the American League Championship Series.

The Red Sox have until Saturday morning to set their roster, and they could wait until close to the deadline to make sure Moreland is good to go.

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"He's going to hit inside," manager Alex Cora said. "So we've still got time to see where we're at with him. Hopefully he keeps getting better, and he'll be ready to go on Saturday."

Moreland injured his right hamstring running from first to home in Game 2 of the AL Division Series on Saturday.

If Moreland isn't ready, the Red Sox could go with Brock Holt or Steve Pearce in Game 1 against Astros ace Justin Verlander.

What happens if Moreland isn't on the roster? Cora indicated the Red Sox would probably add a 12th pitcher in that case rather than replace Moreland with another position player. Blake Swihart can also play first, so Boston has plenty of options.

Astros-Red Sox G1: Lineups, matchups, FAQs

Nunez is fine
If you recall, when the Red Sox waited for the review of the final play of clinching Game 4 of the ALDS, Eduardo Nunez tweaked his ankle when he fell down making a throw on the bang-bang play. It turns out Nunez is fine.

"I think he slipped on that play, but then he was jumping up and down and celebrating," Cora said. "He's OK. I saw him today and I'm like, 'Are you good to go?' And then he's like, 'I'm good, Papi. I'm good.'"

Gear up for the ALCS

Nothing set for Games 3 and 4
While ace Chris Sale and David Price are set to start the first two games of the series at Fenway Park, Cora will wait before determining who will start Games 3 and 4 in Houston on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Evidence bears out Cora's trust in Price for G2

It is all but certain to be Rick Porcello and Nathan Eovaldi in some order. Cora indicated both pitchers will be available out of the bullpen early in the series. Porcello pitched in relief in the eighth inning of Game 1 of the ALDS against the Yankees.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Boston Red Sox, Mitch Moreland