Correa coolly handles rocket to end game

Astros rookie shortstop knocks ball down, fires to first to retire Prince

Correa coolly handles rocket to end game

HOUSTON -- Rangers slugger Prince Fielder stepped to the plate representing the potential tying run with two outs in both the fifth and the seventh inning of Friday night's 3-2 Astros win.

He popped out weakly in the fifth -- an at-bat Astros starter Collin McHugh called his "turning point" of the night. He grounded out to Carlos Correa in the seventh to strand Rougned Odor at third.

Fielder had another pressurized two-out at-bat in the ninth, when he represented the potential go-ahead run against Astros closer Luke Gregerson, who worked him to a full count with a bevy of fastballs.

"You have Prince Fielder up, coming up to bat with a guy on base. That's not the situation we had drawn up as something we wanted," manager A.J. Hinch said.

Hinch on win, playing at home

Correa can't quite explain what happened next.

Fielder launched a vicious ground ball, clocked at 110 mph off the bat according to Statcast™, right at the prized rookie shortstop, who somehow blocked the ball, kept it within reach and fired a strike to first baseman Jon Singleton, who made a nice scoop to retire Fielder and give the Astros their 50th win.

"I can't even tell you about that play," Correa said. "It happened so fast. I tried to block it and it wasn't going to happen because it was so hard hit, so I just tried to put my glove on it and keep it close."

Correa managed to knock the ball down with the palm of his glove and said though he rushed the throw, Singleton was able to make the scoop.

Hinch said the play is indicative of Correa's rapid maturation and the graceful way with which he fields his position.

"Composure and Carlos is never a problem --- in the box, on the bases, playing defense," Hinch said. "He fielded another ball up the middle off Fielder that was coming off pretty hot off his bat. Carlos is as cool as they come when it comes to competing in the big leagues."

Chandler Rome is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.