OAKLAND -- Each time Astros second baseman José Altuve reaches base -- and that has been rather frequent this year -- shortstop Carlos Correa's RBI total seems to creep upward. Correa added three more RBIs in Wednesday's 7-0 win over the A's at the Coliseum, pushing his team lead to 62.
Correa, who hits fourth in the lineup right behind the red-hot Altuve, drew a bases-loaded walk in the second inning and added a two-run bloop single in the eighth to push the Astros' lead to 5-0. He has 29 RBIs since June 20, which is the most in the Major Leagues in that span (Albert Pujols had 27 entering Wednesday's game against Texas).
"As long as he hits in the middle of the order, and if George [Springer] gets on and Marwin [Gonzalez] and Altuve in front of him, he's got a lot of opportunities," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "He's got a guy hitting in front of him with the most hits in the world. He's going to have traffic on the bases, and he's in the moment quite a bit. The more he knows the zone like he showed today, the more productive he will be."
When asked why he's been racking up so many RBIs, Correa didn't hesitate.
"Altuve," he said. "And him getting walked so they can pitch to me."
Altuve went 2-for-3 with two walks on Wednesday and has been on a tear lately. He's hitting .412 since June 25, and Correa is hitting .282 in that stretch with 11 walks and 22 RBIs in 21 games. He walked three times on Wednesday.
"The walks are hard to come by, too," Hinch said. "He was very disciplined in some RBI opportunities, which is good to see. Obviously, behind Altuve, we want him to be really, really productive because there's a lot times guys aren't going to pitch to him. He found a way to separate the game a little bit at 3-0. It felt like we had let them hang in a little too long at missed opportunities, but we ended up getting a couple of runs on a bloop hit."
Any ball hit high into the air, especially to right field, proved to be troublesome for fielders Wednesday, but Correa will take the RBIs any way he can.
"It was nice," he said. "The sun was there. I didn't hit it very well, and I got some luck on that. I'm happy about it, to be able to get those after Altuve got walked."