Correa and Altuve win Houston in first SCLA game

Carlos Correa paused for a few seconds at the plate. With one hand, he patted the opposite wrist, where he normally wears the watch, after breaking the tie with a home run in the seventh inning.

“It’s time,” the Puerto Rican shouted, before jogging along the trails.

It is. And as his contract with the Astros nears expiration, the star shortstop clearly wants this October to be memorable.

Correa’s home run guided Houston to a 5-4 victory over the Boston Red Sox in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series on Friday.

Along with Venezuelan José Altuve, Correa did enough to just barely beat Boston, which featured a heroic performance from Kiké Hernández with the bat and glove.

Altuve tied the game with a two-run homer in the sixth inning, while Correa hit his home run off Hansel Robles, who took the loss, with two outs in the seventh inning.

The Astros thus took a 4-3 lead.

Correa has been with the Astros since 2012, when they drafted him as the first overall pick in the draft. He will become a free agent at the end of the season.

And it does not seem very likely that he will return to Houston.

Hernandez, another Puerto Rican, had four hits, including two homers, and saved Boston from multiple runs with a pair of prodigious catches.

Last year, he was crowned in the World Series with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

With his second home run, off closer Ryan Pressly in the start of the ninth inning, Hernandez reduced the difference to 5-4. However, Pressly retired the next three batters and the save was credited.

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Game 2 will take place this Saturday, also in Houston.

The Astros were leading 4-3 in the eighth inning when Hirokazu Sawamura hit Puerto Rican Martin Maldonado with a pitch. Houston extended the lead thanks to Cuban Yuli Gurriel, who slipped just in time to score on Altuve’s sacrifice fly, which put the score at 5-3.

Hernandez made a great shot, which was insufficient to get the out. He’s been on fire this October for the Red Sox, who sneaked into the playoffs with a wild-card berth.

He has 13 hits in his last four games and has set a major league record with the most hits in a four-game stretch of a postseason. He passed four players who had hit 11: Billy Hatcher (1999), Marquis Grissom (1995), Hideki Matsui (2004) and Randy Arozarena (2020).

For the Red Sox, Puerto Ricans Hernández 5-4 with two runs scored and two RBIs, Christian Vázquez 3-0. The Dominicans Rafael Devers 5-2 with a scored, Danny Santana 1-0. The Mexican Alex Verdugo 3-1.

For the Astros, the Venezuelan Altuve 3-1 with two runs scored and three produced. The Cubans Yordan Álvarez 3-1 with an RBI, Gurriel 3-1 with a run scored. Puerto Ricans Correa 4-3 with a run scored and an RBI, Maldonado 2-0

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