Carlos Correa belted a go-ahead homer with two outs in the seventh inning, fueling the host Houston Astros to a 5-4 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Friday in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series.
Jose Altuve launched a two-run homer in the sixth inning and added a key insurance run with a sacrifice fly in the eighth for the Astros, who host Game 2 on Saturday.
Correa, who joined teammate Chas McCormick in collecting three hits, gave Houston a 4-3 lead in emphatic fashion by depositing a 2-2 changeup from Hansel Robles (0-1) over the wall in left field for a solo homer. Correa immediately dropped his bat and pointed to his wrist to presumably signify that the postseason is “his time” as he exited the batter’s box.
Correa’s homer was his 18th career in the postseason, tying him for seventh place on the all-time list with Mickey Mantle, Reggie Jackson and Nelson Cruz.
Boston’s Enrique Hernandez was brilliant in defeat. The center fielder highlighted his four-hit performance by homering to lead off the third and ninth innings. He became the first player in major league postseason history to record 13 hits in a four-game span.
Hernandez also made a pair of strong defensive plays to end two innings. He thwarted Houston’s bases-loaded threat by robbing Michael Brantley with a diving catch in the second, and he made a late adjustment to snare Kyle Tucker’s fly ball in the fifth with two runners on base.
The Astros leveled the contest at 3-3 in the sixth inning. McCormick had a one-out single, and Altuve stepped up two batters later and sent a first-pitch slider from Tanner Houck over the wall in left field.
Altuve’s homer was his 20th in the playoff competition, tying him for third place all time with Derek Jeter.
Ryne Stanek (1-0) picked up the win after recording the final out of the seventh inning. Kendall Graveman bridged the gap to Ryan Pressly, who rebounded after Hernandez’s second homer to get three outs and record his first save of the postseason.
After preventing Houston from adding to its 1-0 lead in the second, Hernandez led off the third by depositing a 2-1 curveball from Framber Valdez over the wall in center field for a 448-foot homer.
Boston wasn’t done in the inning. With runners on first and second and one out, J.D. Martinez’s hard-hit ball handcuffed second baseman Altuve, with the miscue allowing Xander Bogaerts to score. Rafael Devers advanced to second during that sequence and came around to score on Hunter Renfroe’s double to shallow left field.
–Field Level Media