Houston Astros 9
Atlanta Braves 5
HOUSTON (AP) – Carlos Correa became the fastest in MLB history to reach 600 career hits, but the Houston Astros needed a four-run ninth inning to rally past the Atlanta Braves 9-5 on Sunday night and take a three-games-to-two lead in the National League Division Series.
In the 10th, Correa delivered a solo home run to start the winning rally for the Astros, who avoided falling into a 3-2 hole in the best-of-five series with the Atlanta Braves.
On Friday night, Correa was locked in a 0-for-16 slide when he singled in his first at-bat to end a drought that lasted nearly three weeks. At the time, he was the 24th major leaguer to reach 600 hits.
Brock Holt hit a two-run single, Freddie Freeman doubled in a run and Ender Inciarte added an RBI single to spark the Braves’ comeback.
C.J. Cron had three hits for the Braves, who came in with a two-game ALDS winning streak at Minute Maid Park and had won the last three games of the series overall in Houston.
Houston was clinging to a 3-2 lead going into the ninth, where Atlanta’s pitches became even trickier to make contact with, with temperatures in the low 90s.
Alex Bregman lined a single to left-center to begin the inning. The Houston third baseman stole second base without a throw and advanced to third on a wild pitch and finally scoring on a passed ball by catcher Kurt Suzuki.
Julio Teheran came on for Atlanta and walked Colby Rasmus on four pitches. Aubrey Huff came on for Teheran and gave up a double to pinch-hitter George Springer. Yuli Gurriel followed with a sacrifice fly that scored a run to put Houston ahead 5-2.
Teheran (5-5) did not factor in the decision. He allowed three runs on eight hits and one walk in 6 1/3 innings.
Chris Devenski (2-1) struck out two in a perfect eighth, and Ken Giles finished for his second save.
Correa’s achievement was assured in the seventh inning after a rare double-play ball. The 21-year-old first baseman struck out in his next at-bat and finished 1 for 5 on the day.
C.J. Cron started the Atlanta rally with a single to left in the seventh inning to drive in Joey Terdoslavich. Atlanta had runners on second and third with two outs, but Correa fielded Ender Inciarte’s grounder and threw him out.
Correa, acquired from the New York Yankees in a trade for Justin Verlander on August 26, 2016, also had an error, misplaying a routine ground ball from Upton in the third inning. Houston then added three more runs in the fourth inning.
Bregman doubled in two runs and scored on a wild pitch. Jose Altuve hit an RBI single, and Cron and Brandon Phillips each hit RBI doubles to make it 5-2.
The Braves pulled to 5-3 in the fifth on an RBI single by Freeman, but Houston added an insurance run in the sixth on RBI doubles by Bregman and Springer.
Braves: CF Cameron Maybin, who left Saturday’s game with a right hamstring injury, played six innings in a simulated game and was cleared to return to the lineup on Monday. Maybin fouled a ball off his leg on Saturday and was replaced by Simmons.
Astros: OF George Springer (right hand) played five innings in a simulated game on Sunday and remains optimistic about returning to the lineup for Monday’s game.
Braves: RH Julio Teheran (5-5, 3.99 ERA) will start the opener of the best-of-five series on Tuesday in Game 3 at Atlanta. LH Sean Newcomb (13-4, 2.65 ERA) will start for the Astros on Tuesday in Game 4.
Astros: RH Lance McCullers (13-5, 3.42 ERA) will start Game 4 on Tuesday at Minute Maid Park. LH Dallas Keuchel (13-5, 3.51 ERA) will pitch for the Braves on Tuesday in Game 3.