Fri, 23 Oct 2020

Correa's blast gives Astros win, series sweep over Twins

Field Level Media
01 Oct 2020, 07:19 GMT+10

Carlos Correa had two hits, including a homer for the go-ahead run, as the Houston Astros completed a two-game sweep of the Minnesota Twins with a 3-1 victory in their American League wild-card series on Wednesday afternoon in Minneapolis.

Kyle Tucker went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and Cristian Javier pitched three no-hit innings of relief to pick up the win.

Sixth-seeded Houston, which went just 29-31 in the regular-season, advances to the ALDS to play the winner of the A's-White Sox series starting on Monday at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. The win snapped a 10-game losing streak for Astros manager Dusty Baker in series-clinching games, dating back to 2003.

Ex-Twin Ryan Pressly pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to pick up the save.

The loss extended Minnesota's record for consecutive postseason losses to 18, the longest for the four major sports in North American history. The last postseason victory for the third-seeded and AL Central Division champion Twins came on Oct. 5, 2004, 2-0, over the New York Yankees in Game 1 of the American League Division Series.

Nelson Cruz had an RBI double and Alex Kirilloff became the first player in major league history to make his debut as a starter in a postseason game and also garner a single, one of just three hits for the Twins.

Houston took a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning. Twins starter Jose Berrios, who retired the first 11 batters he faced, then issued back-to-back walks to Michael Brantley and Alex Bregman. Tucker then grounded a single against the shift into shallow left field to drive in Brantley.

The Twins tied it in the fifth when Marwin Gonzalez led off with a single, advanced to second on a walk by Luis Arraez and scored on Cruz's line double over the head of Tucker and off the fence in left. Arraez was thrown out at the plate trying to score to end the threat.

Correa then put Houston ahead 2-1 in the 7th with his 12th career postseason home run off reliever Cody Stashak (0-1), a 429-foot drive into the bleachers in right-center.

The Astros added an insurance run in the ninth against Twins closer Taylor Rogers. Brantley walked and Bregman singled to start the inning and Rogers yielded an RBI single to Tucker through a drawn-in infield.

Minnesota center fielder Byron Buxton didn't start the game with an undisclosed injury but came on to pinch-run for Cruz in the eighth and was picked off first. Left fielder Eddie Rosario was ejected in the sixth inning by home plate umpire Manny Gonzalez for arguing balls and strikes after striking out.

--Field Level Media

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