HOUSTON (AP) — Houston rookie Carlos Correa has amassed enough big plays to fill a highlight reel despite being in the majors for less than a month.
He continued to pile them up on Sunday, doubling twice and scoring the tiebreaking run on a triple by Evan Gattis in the seventh inning to help the Astros to a 3-1 win over the New York Yankees.
“I’m glad he’s on our team and he’s really doing some special things that are either helping us stay in games or win games,” manager A.J. Hinch said. “I appreciate his talent. Having been around this league, it’s a unique set of skills and tools and charisma.”
The 20-year-old Correa, who made his major league debut on June 8, also scored Houston’s first run when he doubled and scored on an error by Brett Gardner in the fourth inning.
“I’m seeing the ball well, pretty good and feeling comfortable out there,” Correa said. “We have a good lineup, so when you’re hitting with a great lineup you feel comfortable. It doesn’t put that much pressure on you.”
Collin McHugh (9-3) allowed a season-low two hits — both singles — and one run and eight strikeouts in eight innings for his third straight win. Luke Gregerson pitched a perfect ninth for his 18th save.
“I’m not sure I can accurately describe that,” Hinch said of his performance. “He was fantastic, as dominant as we could ask him to be. Had every pitch working.”
The game was tied 1-1 when Correa doubled with no outs in the seventh and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Jose Altuve. The triple by Gattis, which sailed just out of reach of center fielder Gardner and bounced off the low wall in left-center, scored Correa and put Houston on top 2-1.
New York starter Michael Pineda (8-5) allowed seven hits and three runs — two earned— and struck out eight in eight innings for the first complete game of his career. The solid performance comes after he allowed 11 hits and eight runs — both career highs — in his previous start.
The Astros added an insurance run when Preston Tucker scored on a sacrifice fly by Jason Castro in the eighth to make it 3-1.
Correa, the top overall pick in the 2012 draft, has nine doubles and five homers in just 20 games. He’s the first player in franchise history to have nine doubles in his first 20 games and joins Rusty Staub, George Springer and Jeff Bagwell as the only players in Houston history to reach safely in at least 18 of their first 20 games.
Stephen Drew walked with one out in the third inning and reached second on a wild pitch. He scored on a single by Gardner to give New York a 1-0 lead.
McHugh retired the next 10 in a row after Gardner’s hit. The Yankees didn’t have another baserunner until a single by Alex Rodriguez with two outs in the sixth inning. But he retired Mark Teixeira to end that inning before throwing perfect seventh and eighth innings.
Correa doubled with one out in the fourth inning and scored on the error by Gardner when he and left fielder Garrett Jones allowed the ball to drop between them and roll away to make it 1-1.
“They both were calling,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “Neither one of them heard each other. Obviously it’s a play that has to be made.”
Altuve made a nifty catch for the last out of the second inning when he sprinted to grab a ball hit by Rodriguez in shallow right field, but bobbled it, causing it to pop out of his glove, before reeling it in.
Teixeira grabbed a grounder hit by Gattis in the second inning, but lost his footing. He regained it by pushing his hand onto the barrel chest of first base umpire Joe West before stepping on first base for the out. Teixeira looked back at West after the play and the pair shared a laugh.
New York’s Chris Young went 0 for 3 to snap a career-long 10-game hitting streak.
The Astros wrap up their homestand with a three-game series against Kansas City starting on Monday when rookie Lance McCullers opposes Joe Blanton. The 21-year-old McCullers will be making his ninth major league start after not factoring in the decision in his past start when he allowed four hits and a run in six innings in a loss in Anaheim.