The thesaurus is beaten and battered. The English language is running out of adjectives for Houston shortstop Carlos Correa who was the star of Houston's 6-1 series winner against the A's on Thursday afternoon. The Pride of Puerto Rico smashed a pair of two-run homers to give Brad Peacock and the bullpen all the offensive support they needed.
Peacock: Daddy K's 7, BBs 6
(c) Karen Warren/Houston Chronicle
With Oakland leading one to nothing in the fourth, Josh Reddick, the former Athletic, smacked a double to left off rookie Daniel Gossett then Correa hammered a drive into the right field seats for a 2-1 Houston advantage.
In the sixth, Reddick rapped a single to center then Jose Altuve ripped a double off the wall in front of the bullpen that plated Reddick all the way from first standing up.
A visit by the pitching coach before the next batter apparently didn't help as Correa jumped on the 1-1 pitch and smoked it high up on the batter's backdrop in center field for a 5-1 lead. He now has 16 homers on the season and we're just at the halfway point (80 games). Reddick completed the scoring with a sacrifice fly in the seventh after two singles and a walk filled the sacks.
Brad Peacock, returning from paternity leave, struck out seven in five innings of work and gave up just two hits but also handed out six free passes and reached the 100-pitch mark in just five frames.
Chris Devenski wriggled out of trouble to finish two scoreless innings. Reymin Guduan struck out the side in the eighth and James Hoyt had a fairly easy ninth to finish up.
Houston has won 17 of their last 19 against Oakland, a perfect Get Well card for an otherwise .500 month. Not to worry. Nobody else in the AL West is in same zip code with Houston in the standings. It's a strange feeling, honestly. In their history, the Astros are almost never the squad with a big lead to squander.
June closes with a visit from the Brinks Bombers although we already have Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann so maybe the name doesn't fit as well as it used to. The Yanks (42-34) have let Boston overtake them for the AL East lead. Friday's 7:10 Central start features two seven-win pitchers. Michael Pineda (7-4) goes for New York in the opener against Lance McCullers (7-1) which will be televised by the MLB Network (and probably blacked out in Texas).
Elsewhere, the Astros' system landed three players on the Futures Game roster - an All-Star Game for minor leaguers which will be held Sunday, July 9th, in Miami. Outfielders Derek Fisher and Kyle Tucker will be on the USA squad and infielder Yordan Alvarez was named to the World team.
- Bob Hulsey