Sports Correa's time: Late HR helps Astros top Bosox in ALCS opener
Correa prepares for what could be final run with Astros
HOUSTON (AP) — Carlos Correa seems resigned to what now appears inevitable. A Houston Astro since he was 17, his time with the team is probably approaching its expiration date — likely to end when the club's playoff run does. “This is my home,” he said. “But it’s not up to me.” Correa becomes a free agent after the season and the Astros seem unwilling to pay him what another team surely will. The sides negotiated in the offseason to no avail, and the star shortstop cut off talks when the season began so they wouldn’t be a distraction. He certainly hasn’t looked preoccupied on the field this year, hitting a career-high 26 homers and leading all position players with a 7.
HOUSTON (AP) — Carlos Correa paused a few seconds at the plate and tapped the spot on his wrist where a watch would be.
“It’s my time!” the Houston Astros star screamed.
That it is.
And if his time with the Astros runs out at the end of this season, the star shortstop sure is making this an October to remember.
Correa hit a tiebreaking home run in the seventh inning, hollering toward his dugout before beginning his trot around the bases and propelling the Astros over the Boston Red Sox 5-4 Friday night in the AL Championship Series opener.
“When the playoffs start, (my teammates) always tell me: ‘It’s your time. Now to go out there, hit homers,'" Correa said. “They told me to hit the watch when I hit the homer."
Atlanta Braves vs. Milwaukee Brewers NLDS schedule: Game times, TV info for MLB playoff series
The teams split the season series 3-3, with each taking two of three on the road. From NFL plays to college sports scores, all the top sports news you need to know every day. The winner of the Braves-Brewers set faces the winner of the Dodgers vs. San Francisco Giants series. Brewers vs. Braves NLDS schedule *if necessary Game 1: Friday, at Milwaukee (4:37 p.m. ET, TBS) Game 2: Saturday, at Milwaukee (5:07 p.m. ET, TBS) Game 3: Monday, at Atlanta (1:07 p.m. ET TBS) *Game 4: Tuesday, at Atlanta (5:07 p.m. ET, TBS) *Game 5: Thursday, Oct. 14, at Milwaukee (5:07 p.m.
Correa teamed with Jose Altuve to do just enough to overcome the heroics of Kiké Hernández, who starred with his bat and glove for the wild-card Red Sox.
“I’ve been watching them for years, and it’s a pleasure to be watching them up close and personal," manager Dusty Baker said. “And, boy, they are some clutch guys."
Altuve tied the game with a two-run shot in the sixth before Correa connected off losing pitcher Hansel Robles with two outs in the seventh to put the Astros ahead 4-3.
Correa, who has been with the Astros since being selected first overall in 2012, becomes a free agent at season’s end and it seems likely that he won’t remain in Houston.
Correa has a history of big hits for Houston that includes 18 postseason home runs, several of them in key, late situations.
Dodgers vs. Giants, NLDS Game 1: Time, live stream, how to watch, TV info, starting pitchers for Friday
Los Angeles had to win one extra game to set up the series everybody wanted to see. From NFL plays to college sports scores, all the top sports news you need to know every day. Here's everything you need to know for Friday night's game: Time: 9:37 p.m. ET TV channel: TBS Live stream: TBS.com or the TBS App Starting pitchers: Walker Buehler, Dodgers (16-4, 2.47 ERA) vs. Logan Webb, Giants (11-3, 3.03 ERA) Right-hander Walker Buehler went 16-4 with a 2.47 ERA, the third-best mark in the majors. The 27-year-old was dominant against the Giants in the regular season, posting a 3-1 record with a 2.
“Playoff time, baby,” Correa said.
“We want to be in the spotlight,” he said. “We want to be in the moment.”
He had three hits, and his performance gave him 55 postseason RBIs, passing Albert Pujols for the most among active MLB players.
Hernández, who won a World Series with the Dodgers last year, homered twice among his four hits and likely saved multiple runs with two terrific catches.
His second homer came off closer Ryan Pressly to start the ninth and cut the lead to 5-4. But Pressly retired the next three batters to get the save.
"It would have been a lot cooler if we won the game," Hernández said.
Game 2 is Saturday in Houston.
Ahead 4-3, the Astros loaded the bases with no outs in the eighth when Hirokazu Sawamura plunked Martín Maldonado. Houston added some insurance when Yuli Gurriel slid in just before the tag to score on a sacrifice fly by Altuve that made it 5-3, beating a terrific throw by Hernandez.
Dynamic duo: Altuve, Correa both get top billing for Astros
HOUSTON (AP) — When it comes to dynamic duos, there’s often a clear-cut top dog and a trusty sidekick. That’s not the case with second baseman Jose Altuve and shortstop Carlos Correa, Houston’s middle-infield combo who both shine equally bright for the Astros. “A lot of times you have one All-Star caliber (player) and like a Robin,” manager Dusty Baker said. “But this time you’ve got two Batmans.” The pair played its 66th postseason game together on Saturday, which is the most by any shortstop and second base duo in MLB history.
Hernández has been red hot for the Red Sox this October, with 13 hits in his last four games to set an MLB record for most hits in a four-game span in one postseason. He passed Billy Hatcher (1999), Marquis Grissom (1995), Hideki Matsui (2004) and Randy Arozarena (2020), who all had 11.
“Enrique is en fuego,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said.
Chas McCormick singled with one out in the sixth before Altuve became the fourth player in MLB history to hit at least 20 postseason homers with his shot to left-center off Tanner Houck that tied it at 3.
Hernández opened a three-run third with his soaring homer to center field to tie it at 1-all.
Xander Bogaerts walked with one out and Rafael Devers singled. J.D. Martinez hit a grounder to Altuve for what should have been a routine play. But the ball grazed the second baseman's glove and rolled between his legs for an error that allowed Martinez to reach and Bogaerts to score to put Boston up 2-1.
Hunter Renfroe then hit an RBI double to left field to extend it to 3-1 before Houston's two brightest stars came through late.
“Experience matters,” Correa said.
When does the World Series start in 2021? Game 1 date, TV schedule for Braves vs. Astros
Here's all the information you need to know about the start of the 2021 World Series.The Braves held off the Dodgers after taking a 3-1 lead in the series, closing out Game 6 to take the series 4-2. The Astros came back after falling behind 2-1 against the Red Sox by winning three straight games to close out the ALCS and head to their third World Series in five years.
Altuve and Correa, connecting again for a team trying to reach the World Series for the second time in three years. The Astros also won the championship in 2017, a crown tainted by the team's sign-stealing scandal.
Both teams leaned heavily on their bullpens after both Boston starter Chris Sale and Houston’s Framber Valdez were chased in the third.
Ryne Stanek got the last out of the seventh for the win.
Sale, who was tagged for five runs in one inning in his previous start against Tampa Bay in the AL Division Series, permitted five hits and a run in 2 2/3 innings Friday. Valdez gave up six hits and three runs — two earned — while also getting just eight outs.
“Everything as a whole clicked a little bit better tonight. My command was spotty at times, but when I really needed it, I could bear down and grab what I’ve been looking for," Sale said.
The Astros led 1-0 after Altuve scored on a sacrifice fly by Yordan Alvarez in the first.
For the next few innings it looked like it wouldn't be the Astros' night.
Houston loaded the bases with one out in the second, but Altuve struck out before Sale escaped the jam with a huge assist from Hernández in center field. Hernández, whose MLB debut came when he subbed for Altuve late in a game in 2014, sprinted to rob Michael Brantley with a diving catch in shallow center to end the inning.
Tampa Bay Rays DH Nelson Cruz wins 2021 Roberto Clemente Award
Tampa Bay Rays DH Nelson Cruz was honored for his work off the field Wednesday as the 2021 recipient of the Roberto Clemente Award. He’ll receive the award from the Clemente family and Commissioner Rob Manfred before Game 2 of the World Series between Atlanta and the Houston Astros. © Brian Fluharty, USA TODAY Sports Tampa Bay Rays designated hitter Nelson Cruz was nominated for the Roberto Clemente award by the Minnesota Twins before he was traded to Tampa in July.
The Astros had runners at first and second with two outs in the fifth when Hernández struck again. He made a back-handed grab in right-center on a ball hit by Kyle Tucker to leave them empty-handed once more.
Hernández even seemed surprised he made the grab, contorting his face into a shocked look after the ball hit his glove.
Hernández said the fly flew like a knuckleball.
“Tim Wakefield, R.A. Dickey, they’ve got nothing on that ball," he said.
Boston’s Nathan Eovaldi (1-0, 2.61 ERA) will have a homecoming of sorts Saturday when he starts opposite rookie Luis Garcia (0-0, 16.88). Eovaldi grew up in the Houston suburb of Alvin, also home to Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan, and visited the Astrodome and Minute Maid Park often growing up.
“It’s definitely one of my favorite ballparks to pitch in,” Eovaldi said.
Saturday will be his third start this postseason. He struck out eight in 5 1/3 innings and got the win in the wild-card victory over the Yankees. He also started Game 3 of the ALDS but did not factor in the decision in a 6-4 Red Sox win.
Garcia struggled in a Game 3 start in the division series, permitting five runs in just 2 2/3 innings of a 12-6 loss.
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Kristie Rieken, The Associated Press
Donald Trump to attend Game 4 of World Series in Atlanta .
The former president won't be sitting with MLB or club officials on Saturday at Truist Park in Atlanta.“He called MLB and wanted to come to the game,’’ McGuirk said. “We were very surprised. Of course, we said yes.