Carlos Correa hits home run to keep Houston Astros alive in ALCS


SAN DIEGO – Before Carlos Correa headed for the plate in the ninth inning of Game 5 of the AL Championship Series, he told Dusty Baker, “Walkoff.”The 71-year-old principal replied, “Go on, man,” then said a brief prayer to his father and brother.

If the Houston Astros had been forced to make extra innings against the Tampa Bay Rays, Baker thought, he would have to burn Framber Valdéz, his scheduled start in Game 6.

Baker’s prayer was answered with a loud crackle.

Correa had a homerun with a one-out in the ninth, and the Astros beat the Rays 4-3 Thursday behind sensational shots from five rookies, finishing 3-2 in the series.

Correa drove a Nick Anderson letter fastball just past the palm trees to the right of the batter’s eye in Petco Park, watched the ball for a few paces, then threw his bat. He was greeted home by his ecstatic teammates and had a long hug with Baker.

“I don’t want to be disrespectful when I call my shot,” said Correa, who added that he went into the inside cage after his second and third bats to work with coach Alex Cintron and make adjustments. .

“We felt it and it was like, ‘Wow. It feels good, ”said the shortstop.

He passed on his positive opinion to his teammate Altuve after the eighth.

“I said to Altuve as I left the pitch, I’m going to end it,” Correa remembers. “I could feel my swing was in sync, I could feel my pace was good, I could feel I wanted to drive the ball. When he threw the fastball at me, I balanced well and got exactly what I wanted. ”

Correa is only 3 for 18 in the series, but two of the hits are homers.

Houston won a second consecutive elimination game thanks in large part to the starter Luis Garcia and four other rookies, who combined to keep the Rays down two runs and four hits in 6 2/3 innings before Baker finally turned into veteran Josh James. Ryan Pressly, Astros’ seventh launcher, took the win.

The Astros forced Game 6 on Friday, a rematch of the first game started by the lefties Blake Snell of Tampa Bay and Valdez.

In the ALCS for a fourth straight year, the Astros look to join the 2004 Boston Red Sox as the only teams to come back from a 3-0 deficit in a best-of-seven series. The Red Sox have beaten the New York Yankees in the ALCS and won their first World Series in 86 seasons.

Otherwise, the big league clubs leading 3-0 in a post-season best-of-seven streak are 37-1.

“Boy this will go down as one of the greatest games in history and hopefully one of the greatest comebacks in history after two more games,” said Baker, the first coach to bring five teams. different to the playoffs. a game in which I participated. This is one of the reasons I came back. ”

The Astros, who made the playoffs with a 29-31 regular season record, are looking to reach the World Series for the third time in four years. They are trying to get there in a year when they have been criticized for their role in a 2017 title-en route cheat scandal that was uncovered last offseason.

Correa also hit a home run in ALCS 2017 Game 2 Aroldis Chapman of the New York Yankees.

“I always had a good launch, and it didn’t come out of the heat,” Anderson said. “I don’t think anyone is worried. ”

George Springer Homered on opener John Curtiss‘first step and Michael Brantley broke a tie with a two-run single. Houston became the first team with a first home run and home run in a postseason game.

“You have a good impression of our chances that the game was played soon after,” said the Rays outfielder. Kevin Kiermaier he told me.

Tampa Bay Ji-Man Choi tied the game with a home run to eighth.

Rookie Randy Arozarena continued his remarkable postseason by hitting his sixth homer in 12 games and Brandon Lowe also connected for the Rays, who need one more win to reach the Fall Classic for second. time.

Springer led the bottom of the first by hitting Curtiss’ first pitch on the second balcony of the Western Metal Supply Co. building in the left corner of the field. On Wednesday night, he landed a two-point shot from the third balcony to break the tie and lead the Astros to a 4-3 victory.

It was his fourth homerun this postseason and the 19th of his career, the most in franchise and tie history. Albert Pujols for the fourth of all time.

After Lowe dominated Blake Taylor leading the third to tie the game, Brantley hit a two-run single against Josh Fleming.

Arozarena took the Rays to 3-2 with a shot into the field opposite Enoli Paredes’ center right with a strikeout in the fifth. Arozarena has scored for the second game in a row, the third time this streak and the sixth time this postseason, tying the rookie record set by Tampa Bay Evan Longoria In 2008.

His 20 postseason wins are two less Derek Jeterrookie record in 1996.

Garcia held Tampa Bay without a hitting in two innings while striking out two and walking one. Taylor allowed a hit and a run in two-thirds of an inning, Paredes allowed a run and a hit in 1 2/3 innings, Andre Scrubb allowed two hits in 1 1/2 innings and Brooks Raley worked a scoreless inning with two strikeouts, including the Arozarena fan starting in the seventh.

Garcia, who was making his first postseason appearance, came out of a foundation-laden jam in the second. Paredes got back-to-back strikeouts with runners first and second in the fourth. Scrubb came with a runner in first and an out in fifth and put out Yandy Diaz before authorizing Ji-Man Choiis single. He had Manuel Margot hitting a floor at third base Alex Bregman, who stripped him bare and kicked him out to complete the round.

Baker’s instinct prevailed again when he decided to go to Garcia with two and two strikeouts in the second. After a visit from trainer Brent Strom, Garcia walked Willy adame and retired Mike Zunino on a flyout to the warning runway.

Taylor resumed the opening of the third and abandoned Lowe’s first home run.

“We can play another day,” Baker said. “Tomorrow is huge. I mean, we’re about to get over that mountain, and that obstacle that seemed like a long way off a few days ago.


Spokes: Kiermaier was out of the starting lineup for a second straight day after being hit by a left hand pitch on Tuesday night. He pinch ran into the ninth.


Astros: Valdéz lost the first game of the ALCS 2-1.

Rays: Snell pitched five innings to win Game 1.


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