Rookie shortstop tallied solo homer and RBI single in Saturday's loss
By Chandler Rome
HOUSTON -- Before Carlos Correa led off the seventh inning, Rangers starter Colby Lewis had retired 12 straight, using his low-90s fastball ahead in counts while mixing in a slider to hold Houston to only two hits.
As he did to many hitters before, Lewis got Correa in a two-strike count, forcing the rookie to alter his mindset with his team down 4-0.
"Definitely wasn't trying to get big or hit a home run," Correa said.
"But it happened."
Correa clobbered the 2-2 offering to center for his eighth homer of the year, which traveled 430 feet according to Statcast™ and hit just below the gas pump near Tal's Hill. His bomb resurrected a stagnant offense and set up a dramatic late-inning rally that fell just short in a 7-6 loss.
Lewis retired the next three hitters without issue, but a single to Jon Singleton in the eighth spelled the end of his evening and got the Astros to the topsy-turvy Rangers bullpen.
"He's done a lot on his career to disrupt timing of hitters and he showed that very effectively tonight," said Astros manager A.J. Hinch. "For us to be able to get him out of the game with a homer, it was a little bit too little too late. Certainly was a step in the right direction for us."
Correa's blast now ties him for the lead among American League shortstops and gives him another historical benchmark -- he's the first shortstop since 1914 to hit eight home runs in his first 34 career games.
He added an RBI single in the three-run eighth inning and was 90 feet away from tying the game, stranded at third when LJ Hoes bounced out to quell the Houston rally.
"They put good swings on some good pitches and we were able to rally," Correa said. "The crowd was able to be there the whole time and support us. That's something that kept us going and something that's going to make us play better."
"As a rookie, I had to run out and stand there," Correa said. "I don't know what was going on, something between Conger and Odor at the plate. I think it pumped us. We went into the ninth inning trying to win the game, we did a pretty good job, but we fell short. We gotta go out and try to win the series."
"We can do it to retaliate from that."
Chandler Rome is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.