At first glance, Astros star Carlos Correa could not have enjoyed a more dramatic exit from Thursday’s 4-3 win over the Rays. How exactly do you improve on a series-extending walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth?
You call your shot, that’s how.
“Before (Correa) went up there, he said, ‘Walk off,'” Astros manager Dusty Baker said following the game. “And I said go ahead on man.”
Said Correa, who had gone 1-for-3 in Thursday’s game before his last at-bat: “I wanted to drive the ball, and I felt I could do it. So when I was walking on the field, I said, ‘I’m going to end it.'”
That’s exactly what he did. Three pitches in against Rays right-hander Nick Anderson, Correa crushed a 96 mph fastball over the centerfield fence
“I knew it was gone the moment I hit it,’’ Correa said.
With that, Houston forced a Game 6, with the Rays still leading 3-2. The Astros are only the fourth team in playoff history to force a Game 6 after trailing 3-0.
“That was as big a game as I’ve ever been in,’’ Baker said. “That was one of the reasons I came back (to managing). You know, it’s like you birdie the hole on the golf course, you’ve had a bad day, so you keep coming back to play.
“Man, that was sweet. That was as sweet as it gets, right there.’’