Carlos Correa Hits Game-Winning Home Run to Keep the Houston Astros Alive in the American League Championship Series

It’s a swing and a win for Carlos Correa

The 26-year-old Puerto Rican professional baseball player and Houston Astros shortstop smacked his sixth home run of the postseason, a walk-off homer to centerfield, to propel his team to a 4-3 win over the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 5 of the American League Championship Series on Thursday at San Diego’s Petco Park.

Carlos Correa

 

Game 6 of the series, which the Rays lead 3-2, will take place at 5:07 p.m. on Friday.

“I don’t want to go home yet,” Correa said in TBS‘ on-field interview. “We were down 0-3, we had a players meeting in the clubhouse and we said we don’t want to go home yet, so we better do something about it. We’re down 2-3 and still have a lot of work to do, but it’s a good start.”

The Astros held on a to slim 3-2 lead heading into the eighth before Ji-Man Choi blasted a ball off Astros reliever Josh James 447 feet to right field to tie the game.

The Astros got off to a quick start when George Springer took the first pitch from Rays starter John Curtiss deep to left field for a solo home run.

The Rays tied things up with a Brandon Lowe homer off reliever Blake Taylor in the third.

The Astros regained the lead with a Michael Brantley single to right that scored Josh Reddick and Martin Maldonado.

The Rays’ Randy Arozarena hit a solo homer off Astros reliever Enoli Paredes in the fifth.

The Astros used seven different pitches with the first five being rookies. Luis Garcia, who had made just one start in his big league career, pitched two shutout innings, despite loading the bases in the second. From there, Taylor got a couple outs before handing off to Paredes, who got five outs. Andre Scrubb got four outs, then Brooks Raley threw a scoreless inning. James gave up the homer in the eighth before Ryan Pressly entered to get the game’s final four outs.

The Astros will have Framber Valdez on the mound for Game 6 with a fully rested Lance McCullers ready to go in a Game 7 if they get that far.

Carlos Correa Homers to Lift Houston Astros to Victory Over the New York Yankees

Carlos Correa leads his team to victory…

In a battle of the bullpens, the 25-year-old Puerto Rican professional baseball shortstop hit a leadoff home run in the 11th inning that lifted the Houston Astros over the New York Yankees 3-2 on Sunday night, tying the AL Championship Series at one game apiece.

Carlos Correa

Correa, who earlier lined an RBI double and made a sensational play at shortstop, connected for an opposite-field shot to right off J.A. Happ.

“Not playing a couple of weeks before the playoffs and then not producing for my team offensively, obviously it’s tough, getting hurt and everything,” the All-Starsaid. “But it’s all worth it for moments like this, moments like this where you give your team a chance to win every day, it’s worth it, man.”

Hours earlier, Correa was confident this would be the day he turned things around after  slumping this month. After starting out 3 for 22 in the postseason after returning from back problems.

“I’ve got my swing back,” he said then. “I’m going to hit a homer tonight.”

And with a swing that kept Houston from falling into an 0-2 hole, he did just that.

“Going into that last inning I thought: `I got this. I feel like I got this,'” Correa said. “And I had the right approach against him. I’ve been successful against him going the other way. And that’s what I try to do, I saw a good pitch down the middle and I drove the other way.”

Correa watched the ball sail, tossed his bat, put his hand to one ear to soak in the roars of the crowd and then held up one finger as he rounded the bases. As he approached home plate, he tossed his helmet as if shooting a basketball at the crowd of teammates waiting for him.

“As soon as I hit it I knew it was going to go over the fence,” he said. “The adrenaline started pumping like crazy. I don’t even know what I did. I’ve got to go watch the video. But I know I was so hyped.”

Correa’s big night gave him 27 RBIs in the postseason to pass Lance Berkmanfor the most in franchise history. And it was a familiar scene — in Game 2 of the 2017ALCS against the Yankees, Correa hit a walk-off double in the ninth.

“You look at his RBI totals in the postseason, you look at his walk-offs, you look at the big moments, he’s a pretty special man,” manager AJ Hinchsaid.

Game 3 is Tuesday afternoon at Yankee Stadium

The Houston Astros Renew Carlos Correa’s Contract

Carlos Correa isn’t going anywhere…

The Houston Astros have renewed the contract of the 23-year-old Puerto Rican professional baseball shortstop.

Carlos Correa

The contract of Correa, the 2015 American League Rookie of the Year, was renewed for one year at $1 million, according to ESPN.

The renewal was first reported by the MLB Network.

Correa batted .315 with 84 RBIs and 24 homers for the World Series champions last season.

Baez Named National League Championship Series Co-MVP

Javier Baez has etched his name in the MLB history books…

The 23-year-old Puerto Rican professional baseball infielder for the Chicago Cubs has been selected as a National League Championship Series co-MVP alongside starter Jon Lester on Saturday night, after leading the Cubs to their first NL pennant since 1945.

Javier Baez

Baez hit .318 (7-for-22) with five RBIs against the Los Angeles Dodgers, picking up right where he left off in the division series.

The versatile Baez also made a couple of the most exciting plays in the NLCS, stealing home during Chicago’s victory in the opener and robbing Adrian Gonzalez of a hit with a terrific, bare-handed scoop in Game 5 on Thursday night.

“Just having fun,” Baez said. “Living my dream, playing like a little kid, moving everywhere, catching the ball and making plays.”

Next up for Baez and the Cubs: the World Series against Francisco Lindor and the Cleveland Indians, beginning Tuesday night in Cleveland.

Baez and Lindor are part of a dynamic group of young players from Puerto Rico that also includes Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa.

Baez “grew up in Puerto Rico, played a lot of baseball as a youth, played a lot of winter ball,” manager Joe Maddon said. “He’s been taught properly and well. And when he goes out there, man, you saw him before the game sitting on the bench, saw him waving into the camera. He’s just being himself. I love that.”

Lester and Baez became the first NLCS co-MVPs since Cincinnati Reds relievers Rob Dibble and Randy Myers in 1990.

The Cubs grabbed Baez with the ninth overall pick in the 2011 amateur draft. He made his major league debut in 2014 but really turned into a consistent force this year, batting .273 with 14 homers and 59 RBIs while playing several different positions.

Houston Astros Officially Sign Correa‎

Signed, sealed, delivered! Following his historic first round pick in the MLB draft, Carlos Correa has agreed to a contract with the Houston Astros for a signing bonus of $4.8 million.

The 17-year-old Puerto Rican shortstop was at Minute Maid Park on Thursday for the official announcement and met with players and took batting practice with the team.

Carlos Correa

“We’re absolutely thrilled to have him as a part of our organization,” said Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow. “It’s a monumental day for us and for him and for the city of Houston. We’re delighted.”

Correa picked the No. 12 jersey he donned on Thursday because he was the top pick in 2012 and because he admires fellow Puerto Rican player Roberto Alomar, who wore the number.

Carlos Correa

Correa will head back to Puerto Rico to graduate from high school this weekend before joining the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League on Tuesday. And, he’s thrilled to be able to get a deal done quickly so he can begin his baseball career.

“It means a lot,” said Correa. “I want to play baseball. I want to play for the Houston Astros. I don’t want to lose time. I feel comfortable signing early. I like this team. I just want to work hard.”

Correa is the highest draft pick ever from Puerto Rico. And, he’s also the first shortstop to get drafted first overall since Tampa Bay selected Tim Beckham in 2008, and the fourth shortstop taken with the top pick since 1994.

St. Louis Cardinals players Carlos Beltran and Yadier Molina, both from Puerto Rico, came onto the field early before their game against the Astros to meet Correa and talk to and pose for pictures with his family. Beltran was excited that Correa was chosen first in the draft.

“It really means a lot,” said Beltran, adding that he called to congratulate him on draft night. “I think Correa is a hero in Puerto Rico being the first pick overall. At the same time, it’s going to motivate a lot of kids back home in Puerto Rico to continue to play the game of baseball.”

The Astros, who fell to a franchise-worst 56-106 last season to earn the top pick, are hoping Correa develops into a superstar. And he seems ready for the challenge.

“I just want to get to the big league level the quickest that I can,” said the baseball phenom. “I want to be a leader. I want to be the face of the franchise. That’s what I want as a player. I will work hard right now to be a great player, an impact player in the big leagues.”

Correa Becomes the MLB’s First Puerto Rican No. 1 Draft Pick

He’s only 17-year-old… But Carlos Correa has already made it into annals of baseball…

The Houston Astros selected the Puerto Rican baseball phenom as the No. 1 pick Monday night, making him the first player from Puerto Rico to lead off the Major League Baseball draft.

Carlos Correa

“This means a lot,” said Correa, who was all smiles when he heard his name called, knowing he’d made hometown history at the baseball draft. “We’ve got a lot of good players there.”

Despite producing its share of baseball royalty like Roberto Clemente, Ivan Rodriguez, Carlos Beltran, Carlos Delgado, Juan Gonzalez and Bernie Williams, Correa is the first selection from Puerto Rico. Some of those players signed as free agents — catcher Ramon Castro had been the highest-drafted player out of Puerto Rico, going No. 17 to Houston in 1994.

“I feel so excited to be the No. 1 pick,” said Correa, who was congratulated by Delgado on Twitter. “I’ve worked so hard to be here.”

It was the first time Houston had the top pick in the draft since 1992, when the Astros selected Phil Nevin — passing on future star Derek Jeter, who went five spots later to the New York Yankees.

“I have read about that,” said Correa, calling Jeter his idol. “I want to be like him. He’s awesome.”

Carlos Correa

First-year Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said Correa “has a chance to be a star” who could hit 20-30 home runs in the pros, whether it’s in his current role as a shortstop or “ultimately maybe third base.”

Correa said he’d like to stay at shortstop and plans to use his signing bonus to help his family.

As he walked to the podium and shook hands with commissioner Bud Selig before a brief hug, Correa pulled out a small Puerto Rican flag and held it up to cheers from the crowd of major league representatives and fans gathered in the stadium-themed studio.

While recent drafts lacked first-pick intrigue, Luhnow said the Astros didn’t settle on Correa until about an hour before they went on the clock. Several mock draft lists predicted the Astros would select Stanford right-hander Mark Appel, but instead Houston made a somewhat surprising selection — although Correa was considered one of the top five players available.

Correa, who has an incredibly strong arm and terrific instincts on defense, may be the highly sought after “big-time bat” for the middle of Astros lineup. The 6-foot-4, 190-pound star from Santa Isabel was a star at the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy. He’s committed to the University of Miami, but will likely head to Houston’s farm system instead.

“Right now, he stays at shortstop and if he was to happen to grow out of it, it’s the power that’s the attraction here and it’s the middle of the order potential impact bat,” Astros scouting director and assistant general manager Bobby Heck said. “So if he has to move, his profile is still very, very strong.”

Meanwhile, Florida high school outfielder Albert Almora was selected sixth by the Chicago Cubs.

“I’m speechless,” said Almora by phone in an interview with MLB.com, about an hour after the 18-year-old was drafted. “I don’t remember much of anything that happened tonight. I know that the Cubs drafted me, and I’m grateful, but I’m still kind of shocked and overwhelmed.”

The first round and the compensation rounds are completed Monday night, with rounds 2 through 40 conducted over the next two days via conference call with the teams.