Correa, Alvarez help Astros take 2-0 lead over Sox in ALDS

The Houston Astros beat the Chicago White Sox 9-4 for a 2-0 lead in their AL Division Series. Game 3 of the best-of-five series is Sunday night in Chicago.

(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa (1) celebrates after hitting a two-run double against the Chicago White Sox during the seventh inning in Game 2 of a baseball American League Division Series Friday, Oct. 8, 2021, in Houston.

Houston Public Media's Lucio Vasquez contributed to this report.

Carlos Correa and the Houston Astros are relentless at the plate and in the field.

That’s why they are so tough to beat in the playoffs.

Correa hit a two-run double during Houston’s five-run seventh inning, and the Astros beat the Chicago White Sox 9-4 on Friday for a 2-0 lead in their AL Division Series.

Kyle Tucker homered and drove in three runs as the Astros moved within one win of their fifth straight appearance in the AL Championship Series. Alex Bregman had two hits and scored twice, and Jose Altuve made a couple of big plays.

Game 3 of the best-of-five series is Sunday night in Chicago.

Thousands of fans poured into Minute Maid Park on Friday, including Fran Brown, who has been an Astros fan since the 60s. Brown said she was happy to be able to enjoy the sport in person more than a year into the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’ve got my mask with me,” Brown said. “I feel alright. I’m just glad to be back with the crowd.”

Lucio Vasquez / Houston Public Media
Fans head to Minute Maid Park in downtown Houston ahead of Game 2 of the AL Division Series on Oct. 8, 2021. The Astros beat the Chicago White Sox 9-4.

The Astros grabbed the lead for good on Yordan Alvarez’s tiebreaking RBI single off Aaron Bummer (0-1) with one out in the seventh. Craig Kimbrel then took over and retired Yuli Gurriel before Correa’s drive to right sailed just past a sprinting Leury García.

Correa screamed and gestured to the crowd to yell with him as he reached second. The star shortstop is eligible for free agency after this season, and it’s going to be quite costly for the AL West champion Astros to keep him.

Tucker then punctuated the inning with a two-run shot into the seats in left, lifting Houston to a 9-4 lead.

The Astros rolled to a 6-1 win in Game 1 behind a splendid start by Lance McCullers Jr. Framber Valdez struggled in Game 2, allowing four runs and seven hits in 4 1/3 innings.

The White Sox grabbed a 4-2 lead with three runs in the fifth. Luis Robert and José Abreu each hit an RBI single, and Yasmani Grandal added a sacrifice fly.

But the Astros tied it in the bottom half on Yuli Gurriel’s two-run single. It was the first hit of the series for the AL batting champion.

The loss drops the AL Central champion White Sox to 0-6 in Houston this season. They are trying to avoid another early postseason exit after they were eliminated by Oakland in the first round last year.

Robert and Tim Anderson had three hits apiece. Abreu, who had been slowed by flu-like symptoms, had two hits and drove in a run.

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