It took a few deep shots, and one massive celebration late, but the Houston Astros made it past the Boston Red Sox on Friday night.
The Astros rallied back from an early 3-1 hole to beat the Red Sox, 5-4, at Minute Maid Park to kick off the American League Championship Series and take a 1-0 series lead.
Correa, Altuve hit homers late to lift Astros
The Astros got out in front early in the first inning when Yordan Álvarez brought Jose Altuve in on a sacrifice fly to put them up 1-0. Houston was in what looked like a perfect position to blow the game wide open in the second inning, too, after loading up the bases on starting pitcher Chris Sale. But the lefty still working his way back to 100 percent after Tommy John surgery escaped.
Then, up at bat to start the third, Boston center fielder Kiké Hernández hit a solo shot deep over the center-field wall to tie things up.
Boston got two more that inning to take a 3-1 lead after Xander Bogaerts scored on an error and then Rafael Devers reached on a Hunter Renfroe double.
Though the Red Sox seemed in complete control, the Astros whipped out a pair of home runs — including one with a ruthless bat drop — to flip the game back in their favor.
First, in the sixth, Altuve drilled a two-run homer to tie things up — which marked his 20th career postseason home run.
Then, an inning later, Carlos Correa hit an absolute bomb to left field. He knew it was gone instantly, too, and threw his bat and pointed to his wrist celebrating before making it around the bases.
“That was a good one, man,” Correa said on Fox. “Looking for a fastball, I knew he was going to try to pound me with a fastball up, and then he left the change up right there and I just happened to catch it up front.”
By then, the Red Sox were done. It was those two pitches, Boston manager Alex Cora said, that changed the course of the game.
The Astros picked up one more in the eighth for good measure behind an Altuve sacrifice fly to take a two-run lead. Though Hernández hit another home run to kick off the ninth inning — which marked his fourth hit in five at-bats on the night — the Astros ended the night with three quick outs to seal the one-run win.
“Experience matters,” Correa said on Fox. “We know how to win. We know what it takes. We know how to prepare for these moments, not only physically but also mentally. We want to be in the spot, we want to be in the moment, and we live for this.”
As for the duo of Altuve and Correa — who combined for four RBIs on Friday night — Astros manager Dusty Baker had a comparison he knows Boston sports fans are sure to love.