Astros Hopeful for Zack Greinke Return During Playoffs

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Astros starting pitcher Zack Greinke could return to the rotation as early as the team's ALDS series against the Athletics, manager Dusty Baker said on Wednesday. 

Greinke, a former Cy Young winner, has not pitched for the Astros since Game 1 of the team's wild-card series against the Minnesota Twins on Sept. 29, which Houston won 4-1. Baker described Greinke's ailment as "some soreness in his arm."

Most recently, Greinke threw about 15 pitches off flat ground at a low intensity on Tuesday that Baker said went "pretty good."

Entering Wednesday, the Astros held a 2-0 ALDS lead against the Athletics with the potential to clinch in Game 3. If the series is extended, Baker did not rule out the possibility of Greinke starting against Oakland. 

"I'm hoping that we win today's game and then we'll have a few days off to rehab and try to feel better before next [round]," Baker said on Wednesday. "But we have to win this game first."

Greinke, 36, recorded a 4.03 ERA through 12 games played this season, including a 5.79 ERA over his last four starts. The six-time All-Star last had a six-inning outing on Sept. 8, a loss against Oakland.

The Astros have the opportunity to advance to the ALCS with a victory over the Athletics on Wednesday. Houston outscored Oakland 15-7 during the first two games of the series. 

The Astros, who entered the playoffs as the No. 6 AL seed, have yet to suffer a loss in the postseason.