Correa homers twice, but regrets error
Rookie phenom goes 4-for-4, falls triple shy of cycle
HOUSTON -- Astros rookie Carlos Correa heard the question at least five times, likely more, and he responded with a variation of the same answer each go-round, the 21-year-old's maturity shining through even under the most disappointing of circumstances.
Correa had no interest in glorifying his historic game, not after Houston had lost it in heartbreaking fashion, a 9-6 loss to the Royals on Monday that takes these two clubs to a decisive Game 5 in the American League Division Series on Wednesday night at 8 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1. But that doesn't mean others won't.
With two home runs, a double and a single, Correa became the first rookie in Major League history to collect four hits and four RBIs in a postseason game. He's also the first to finish with more than nine total bases (11) in a playoff contest.
"It was not good enough to win the game, so it doesn't matter," said Correa, who was drilled on his left elbow during the first inning.
"It didn't matter," he insisted, again, just seconds later. "We didn't win the game."
The shortstop also made a critical error during the Royals' epic five-run eighth inning that silenced Minute Maid Park and helped Kansas City force a Game 5 in its own ballpark.
The Royals began the frame with four consecutive singles off reliever Will Harris, who was then replaced by Tony Sipp. That's when a grounder from Kendrys Morales glanced off Sipp's glove and then bounced off the mound, before going off the glove of Correa, who was charged with an error on the game-tying two-run play.
Kansas City went ahead, 7-6, by inning's end.
"It had that spin and got by me, and I missed it," Correa said. "I wish I was perfect. I'm not. I'm going to miss some grounders. I'm not going to hit a home run every at-bat. It happened to me today. We gotta focus on the next game. We can't beat ourselves up over what happened today. We gotta go try to win the series."
Though unwavering in his no-excuses attitude, Correa's doings at the plate are still to be revered. The AL Rookie of the Year Award favorite tied the game at 2 in the third with a homer -- his first in a postseason game -- off Royals flamethrower Yordano Ventura before giving his club the lead in the fifth with a two-out RBI double.
"It's a big hit for us, obviously, but to come back from that kind of injury is pretty tough," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "This kid's tough. We're pretty resilient as a team. He represents that."
As if that wasn't enough, Correa laced a two-run shot in the seventh to give Houston a 5-2 lead, marking the eighth home run by a rookie in 13 postseason games this year.
The homer-happy Astros, who also got one from Carlos Gomez in the second and Colby Rasmus in the seventh, have eight homers in five postseason games after compiling 230 in the regular season, which ranked second in the Majors.
At 21 years and 20 days, Correa became the youngest AL player (and second-youngest player overall) with a multihomer postseason game and the second Astros player in franchise history with one, joining Carlos Beltran, who hit two homers in Game 5 of the National League Division Series on Oct. 11, 2004, in Atlanta. Andruw Jones, at 19 years and 180 days, holds the record as the youngest player overall after launching two homers for the Braves in Game 1 of the 1996 World Series vs. the Yankees.
Correa is hitting .412 in five postseason games.
"You're not surprised what he did," Gomez said. "He's a really good player at a young age, but right now, we're not thinking individual. We're thinking about the team, and we have to put this in the past. I did nothing today, he did nothing today, because we lost. The main thing right now is to win games, and today was a tough loss."