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.

Martin Maldonado Traded to the Houston Astros

Martin Maldonadois seeing stars…

The 32-year-old  Puerto Rican professional baseball catcher has been traded to the Houston Astros by the Chicago Cubs.

Martin Maldonado

In exchange, the Cubs will receive utility man Tony Kemp.

The move for Kemp fills a hole the Cubs have had since they traded Tommy La Stella to the Angels over the winter.

“Our position player group has felt a little short,” Hoyer said. “We’ve lacked the depth of at-bats recently. That was something we were looking to restore at the deadline.”

Kemp has a less than 2-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio, and his contact rate has never been below 82%.

“Our swing-and-miss rates are too high,” Hoyer said. “Finding a guy that put the ball in play, that’s really important for us. It’s something we’ve lacked, especially coming off the bench.”

In addition to the Cubs, the Golden Glove Award winner has previously played in MLBfor the Milwaukee Brewers, the Los Angeles Angels and the Kansas City Royals.

Martin Maldonado Acquired by the Chicago Cubs

Martin Maldonado is joining the Cub

The Chicago Cubs have acquired the 32-year-old Puerto Rican MLB catcher for left-hander Mike Montgomery, the reliever who secured the last out in the Cubs’ 2016 World Series championship season.

Martin Maldonado

Maldonado, a defensive-minded catcher, should be an immediate replacement for All-Starcatcher Willson Contreras, who hit the injured list on Monday with a strain in the arch of his right foot. While Contreras isn’t expected to miss a significant amount of time, Maldonado serves as a solid insurance policy.

He has been one of the best defensive catchers in baseball this season and was traded last July, too, going from the Los Angeles Angels to the Houston Astros. He signed a one-year, $2.5 million with the Kansas City Royals and started in place of Salvador Perez, who’s out for the year with Tommy John surgery.

Once Contreras returns, Maldonado will serve as a backup. The move could free the Cubs to use backup catcher Victor Caratini in more of a utility role to get him more plate appearances.

Maldonado made his Major League Baseball debut in September 2011 for the Milwaukee Brewers. He was a Gold Glove Awardwinner in 2017.