Young upstart: Correa revs Astros in lid-lifter

Shortstop youngest in club history to homer on Opening Day, drives in two and scores twice

April 5th, 2016

NEW YORK -- Carlos Correa's fingerprints were all over the Astros' 5-3 season-opening win over the Yankees on Tuesday afternoon at Yankee Stadium, which should come as no surprise from a player many expect could contend for the American League Most Valuable Player this year.

Correa went 1-for-4 with a game-tying homer in the sixth inning, scored two runs, drove in two runs and stole two bases in his first Opening Day game. At 21 years, 196 days old, he became the youngest Astros player to homer on Opening Day, surpassing Terry Puhl (21 years, 272 days in 1978).

"I think he was involved in every run we scored," teammate Jose Altuve said.

Just about. Correa drove in the Astros' first run with a fielder's choice and then clubbed a solo homer to the opposite field off Masahiro Tanaka, knifing it through the cold afternoon air, to tie the game at 2. He's the second-youngest Astros player behind Cesar Cedeno to have a homer and two steals in a game.

"I got all of it," Correa said of his homer. "That's all I've got. I knew it was gone as soon as I hit it. It was like a hanging splitter or something like that, I don't know. I put a good swing on it."

Correa found himself embroiled in a controversial play in the eighth that led the Yankees to play the game under protest. With a runner at second and one out, he hit a dribbler in front of the plate. Yankees pitcher Dellin Betances fielded the ball and threw over the first baseman's head when he tried to arc the ball over the top of Correa going down the line.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi argued Correa should have been out for running inside the line, but Altuve scored the go-ahead run. Correa wound up scoring on Luis Valbuena's two-run double that made it 5-2.

"First of all, I thought it was a hit," Correa said. "They scored it an error. It was going to be a bang-bang play. He threw it over [his head]. I was running inside the baseline a little bit, but he has to hit me in the back in order for it to be an out, and he threw it over. Good thing for us."

And good thing for the Astros that the dynamic Correa was at his best Tuesday.

"He's the kind of guy you know what he can do, but he's always going to surprise you no matter what," Altuve said. "He always has something new to show to the people, and today hitting the ball against the wind. He's just good."