Carlos Correa stopped looking at the plate for a while and then tapped the spot where a watch would be.
The Houston Astros star shouted, “It’s mine!”
Even if his time with Astros ends at the end, the Astros star shortstop is sure to make this October memorable.
Correa scored a tiebreaking run in the seventh. He hollered towards his dugout and began his trek around the bases, propelling the Astros to victory over the Boston Red Sox 5-4 on Friday night in the AL Championship Series opener.
“When the playoffs begin, (my teammates), always tell me: “It’s your turn.” Correa stated, “Now to get out there and hit homers.” “They said to me that I should hit the watch when it hits the homer.”
Jose Altuve and Correa worked together to defeat Kike Hernandez’s heroics, who was a star with his bat for the wild-card Red Sox.
Dusty Baker, manager of Dusty Baker, said that he has been following them for many years and that it is a joy to see them up close. “And they are clutch guys.
Altuve tied it in the sixth with a run-scoring double, before Correa scored two runs to tie the game in the seventh. Correa also connected with Hansel Robles, the Astros’ losing pitcher, with two outs of the seventh to make it 4-3.
Correa, who has been with Astros since 2012 when he was selected first overall, is a free agent at season’s conclusion and it seems unlikely that he will remain in Houston.
Correa’s history includes 18 home runs in the postseason for Houston, many of which were made in crucial, late situations.
Correa declared, “Playoff time baby.”
He said, “We want to be in front of the camera.” “We want to be in this moment.”
He scored three runs and had 55 RBIs in the postseason, surpassing Albert Pujols as the most active MLB players.
Hernandez, who was part of the Dodgers’ World Series win, scored twice with his four hits. He also likely saved many runs with his two spectacular catches.
Ryan Pressly, who started the ninth, was closer to his second homer and reduced the lead to 5-4. Pressly saved the save by retiring the three remaining batters.
Hernandez stated, “It would be a lot cooler to win the game.”
Houston hosts Game 2 on Saturday.
The Astros led 4-3 when they loaded the bases. In the eighth, Hirokazu Sawamura threw Martin Maldonado to the plate. Houston provided some insurance when Yuli Guriel scored on Altuve’s sacrifice fly to make it 5-3. Hernandez was a great throw.
Hernandez has been hot for the Red Sox in October with 13 hits in his four last games. This set a new MLB record for the most hits in a single postseason, setting it at 13. He broke the records of Billy Hatcher (1999), Marquis Grissom (95), Hideki Miatsui (2004), and Randy Arozarena (2010) who all had 11.
“Enrique is en fuego,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said.
Chas McCormick walked with one out in the sixth. Altuve made it four players in MLB history who have hit at least 20 home runs in the postseason with his shot to Tanner Houck’s left-center. This tied the record at 3.
Hernandez scored a run with his homer to centerfield that he swung to the left field, tying it at 1 all.
Rafael Devers singled, while Xander Bogaerts walked in one out. J.D. Martinez grounded Altuve with a grounder for what should have been a simple play. The ball touched the glove of the second baseman and bounced between his legs. This allowed Martinez to reach Bogaerts and score to make Boston up 2-1.
Hunter Renfroe hit an RBI double to the left field to make it 3-1, before Houston’s brightest stars arrived late.
Correa stated, “Experience is important.”
Altuve and Correa again connect for a team trying for the World Series for the third time in three years. In 2017, the Astros won the championship, a victory marred by the sign-stealing scandal.
After Houston’s FramberValdez and Chris Sale, both Boston starters, were chased in round three, both teams relied heavily on their bullpens.
Ryne Stanek won the seventh game with the final out.
Sale was hit for five runs in an inning against Tampa Bay in the AL Division Series. Friday’s outing allowed five hits and one run. Valdez allowed six hits and three runs, two earned, while getting only eight outs.
“Everything clicked a little better tonight. Sale stated that although my command was not perfect at times, it was sufficient to allow me to reach for what I needed when I needed it.
After Altuve’s sacrifice fly by Yordan Avarez in the first, the Astros lead 1-0.
It looked as though it would not be Astros’ night for the next few innings.
Houston loaded the bases in the second. Altuve struck out to end the inning. Hernandez made his MLB debut in 2014 when he was called up to replace Altuve in the second inning. He then sprint to steal Michael Brantley’s base with a diving catch in shallow central to end the inning.
Hernandez struck again, bringing home runners first and second for the Astros. To make them empty-handed, he made a backhand grab in right-center on Kyle Tucker’s ball.
Hernandez seemed even more surprised that he did the grab, constricting his face in shock after the ball hit his glove.
Hernandez stated that the fly flew like an ox.
He said, “Tim Wakefield R.A. Dickey they’ve got nothing to that ball.”
Nathan Eovaldi, Boston (1-0, 2.61 ERA), will make a homecoming Saturday, when he takes on rookie Luis Garcia (0-1, 16.88). Eovaldi was raised in Houston’s Alvin neighborhood, where he visited Minute Maid Park and the Astrodome often as a child.
Eovaldi stated, “It’s definitely my favorite baseballpark to pitch in.”
Saturday will mark his third postseason start. In 5 1/3 innings, he struck out eight and earned the win in the wild card victory over the Yankees. He also pitched Game 3 of the ALDS, but he did not contribute to the final decision in a win by the Red Sox at 6-4.
Garcia was unable to make it through Game 3 of the division series. He allowed five runs in only 2 1/3 innings, resulting in a loss of 12-6.