Correa keeps coming through in clutch

Astros rookie phenom launches late 2-run HR in victory

Correa keeps coming through in clutch

OAKLAND -- Astros rookie shortstop Carlos Correa hasn't been shy about being forthright with the media during the first two months of his Major League career, so when he was asked if the go-ahead homer he clubbed in the eighth inning of a 5-4 win over the A's on Thursday was the biggest of his career, he was honest.

"Definitely," he said. "We come from a rough series against Texas, and for me to get that home run to give us the lead in the eighth, it was a great moment, definitely the best homer I've hit so far."

In 51 games as a rookie, Correa already has 14 home runs. His first-inning single snapped an 0-for-11 funk, yet he's still batting .319 with four doubles, seven home runs and 17 RBIs in 19 games since the All-Star break.

Correa's running grab on foul

The Astros were trailing, 2-1, in the eighth against the A's when he crushed a 2-0 pitch from Fernando Rodriguez and sent it high over the left-field wall to put Houston ahead.

"Just looking for a pitch, a good pitch to hit, I got a fastball right down the middle and I was able to drive it out of the park," he said.

Astros manager A.J. Hinch, marveling at his young shortstop, said before the game Correa was the kind of player fans would make sure to be in their seats when he bats. Thursday was a good example of why.

"We really have a lot of belief when he's in the batter's box or when he's handling the ball in the field," he said. "We're pretty fired up to win this game. We went through a tough little stretch here in Texas with some close games, some games we should have won, put ourselves in position to win and showed some resiliency like we have for four months now."

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.