|Correa: 4-5, 2 HR, 5 RBI|
In their last outing prior to the all-star break, the Houston Astros sent a reminder to the rest of the league that they are the team to beat on the road to the World Series.
Houston battered a total of seven Toronto pitchers in their 19-1 victory, splitting the four game series in Toronto, two games apiece, though the Astros dominated in their wins, taking Friday's game two, 12-2.
Hammering out 17 hits, four of them belonged to this year's AL all-star selection at shortstop, Carlos Correa.
Going 4-for-5, Correa drove in five runs with his 19th and 20th home runs, the latter a three-run delivery to center field in the seventh inning, the first a solo shot in the second. His other two hits were singles, bringing his average to a solid .325, fourth league-wide. His 65 RBI are third in the league behind Seattle's Nelson Cruz (70) and the Yankees' Aaron Judge (66).
Only 22, Correa isn't exactly new to the majors. In fact, he's in his third season, but has really broken out this year, his batting average more than 50 points higher than his 2016 mark of .274
The victory left the AL West much as it was prior to the game, with the Angels, Rangers, Mariners and A's looking up at runaway, 60-29, Houston, with a 16 1/2 game division lead. None of the other teams in the division have a winning record.
|Freeland misses no-hitter|
In the final game before the all-star break, the Rockies got a much-needed shot of optimism in the form of a near no-hitter thrown by rookie left-hander, Kyle Freeland.
Not allowing a hit until Melky Cabrera spoiled the show with a clean single to left field with one out in the ninth, Freeland was within two outs of the record books as the Rockies routed the visiting White Sox, 10-0.
At the very least, the Rockies can take some comfort that their rookie hurler is 9-7 and that they took the series with Chicago, two games to one.
Having thrown 126 pitches, Freeland was taken out right after Cabrera's hit, receiving a warm ovation from the partisan crowd. Jordan Lyles got the final two outs in order in the ninth.
Freeland's grand outing came somewhat out of the blue. Suffering losses in his last three outings, he had allowed 14 earned runs in those games, in a total of 17 1/3 innings.
The Rockies go into the break 52-39, 9 1/2 games behind the Dodgers in the division. Arizona is in second place, 7 1/2 out.