OAKLAND -- Astros shortstop Carlos Correa might make the headlines for his eye-popping numbers and showstopping defensive plays, but he also does little things that can make a big difference, too.In the matter of a few minutes in Wednesday night's 5-1 win over the A's, Correa made several key plays.
OAKLAND -- Astros shortstop Carlos Correa might make the headlines for his eye-popping numbers and showstopping defensive plays, but he also does little things that can make a big difference, too.
In the matter of a few minutes in Wednesday night's 5-1 win over the A's, Correa made several key plays. And then he also homered, just for good measure.
"It just says he's one of the best players in the league," manager A.J. Hinch said. "He's really good, and can impact the game in so many different ways. When he puts it all together and does it on a nightly basis -- we get to see it every night -- he can really play. Tonight was an indication of that."
With the game scoreless in the bottom of the fifth inning, A's outfielder Matt Joyce came to the plate with two runners on, and hit a chopper to the right side of the infield. Playing in a shift, Correa charged from behind second base to cut off Jose Altuve, snagged the ball, tagged Josh Phegley and delivered a dart to first to complete the inning-ending double play.
It was one of three double plays induced by starter Mike Fiers, who picked up his fourth win in five starts after tossing six-plus innings of one-run ball.
"That's an easy play for him. Just coming in and tagging and throwing it. I could have made that play," Fiers said with a laugh. "But yeah, it's a big confidence booster. Obviously, they were starting to get stuff going, first and second and one out. So I needed to make a big pitch."
Just minutes later, Correa helped spark Houston's three-run rally in the top of the sixth with smart baserunning. After Altuve led off with a single, Correa moved him to third with a single, then alertly advanced to second on the throw. Evan Gattis took advantage of having two runners in scoring position, breaking the scoreless tie with a two-run single.
"We take a lot of pride in our defense, and our baserunning," Correa said. "We're an athletic team, so we know we can do that. Every time we can take advantage of the situation, we will."
Correa capped the win with a ninth-inning solo homer to center, his 14th home run of the year, helping the Astros beat the A's for the third straight night.
"It felt good," Correa said. "You know, like I said before going out there, it's the most important at-bat of the night, the last one. You go home happy, or you go home sad. I was able to get the home run, and, obviously, I'm going home happy."
Alex Espinoza is a contributor to MLB.com based in the Bay Area and covered the Astros on Wednesday.