LOS ANGELES – A home run derby broke out during a hot, dry day at Dodger Stadium, and suddenly the Houston Astros have their swing and swagger back.
Carlos Correa homered twice and drove in four, Jose Altuve hit a go-ahead, two-run single during Houston's four-run sixth inning and the Astros rallied to beat the Oakland Athletics 10-5 in the opener of their AL Division Series on Monday.
“I love October baseball,” Correa said. “The energy is just different. I know there’s no fans this year, but the energy to know you win or go home is what drives me.”
George Springer, MVP of the 2017 World Series, had four hits for Houston, which trailed 3-0 and 5-3.
“To get down early and not quit and fight hard and come out with a win in the first game is obviously huge,” Springer said.
The Astros rallied with two outs in the sixth against Oakland's vaunted bullpen to take control of Major League Baseball's first neutral-site postseason game resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Houston pounded out 16 hits in all as the A's ran through eight pitchers.
“As the game got deeper,” Springer said, “the at-bats got better.”
The teams combined for six home runs in daytime conditions that were ripe for the ball to carry at the stadium where the Dodgers hit a major league-leading 118 homers. The temperature was 91 degrees at game time under sunny skies and with little breeze, although tricky shadows crept toward the mound during the final innings. The entire best-of-five series will be played during the day. At night, the air is cooler and often thicker, an environment less favorable to hitters.