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Correa continues ascent with first 2-HR effort

Rookie phenom sets Astros record with 12 dingers in first 46 games

HOUSTON -- As Astros manager A.J. Hinch put it after Saturday's 9-2 win over the D-backs, it takes a man to go opposite field.

Carlos Correa is a man.

Correa continued his astronomical ascent up the baseball hierarchy, achieving the first multihomer game of his two-month old career, the second blast going to the opposite field into the right-field bleachers.

Because the opposite-field power is nothing new to Hinch, he was more impressed with Correa's first dinger, a sinking liner he snuck just inside the foul pole and into the left-field Crawford Boxes.

"To keep it fair was really impressive," Hinch said. "An offspeed pitch where he was sort of fooled and stayed through the ball, which showed some strength. And then the opposite-field home run, you've got to be a man to go oppo, and at 20, he's showing that pretty routinely."

His 12 homers in his first 46 games is an Astros record, surpassing George Springer's 10. Correa is only the ninth rookie since 2000 to have as many home runs in that span.

Because 12 of Troy Tulowitzki's 13 home runs came while he was in the National League, Correa is tops among all American League shortstops.

Not that he would know.

"I never look at stats," Correa said. "I just look at a way where I can help my team win games and every single day I go out there to perform and help my team win games. That's the bottom line. I try to go out there to perform and to help my team win and do my best out there."

Talk to veterans in the clubhouse and they'll all say it's that maturity and grace coupled with the constant praising of other teammates that sets Correa apart from other rookies.

Though constantly asked, nothing surprises Hinch any longer about Correa. And according to the the young shortstop, no surprises should be in store for those who face him.

"It's not a secret we've got a great team," Correa said. "We've got one of the best teams in baseball and we're going to go out there and compete. We know we have a great lineup. So from one to nine [in the lineup], we know we can all hit, so it's not surprising that everybody in our lineup can hit."

Chandler Rome is an associate reporter for
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