Astros vs. Twins score, highlights: Carlos Correa leads Minnesota to dominant Game 2 win to even ALDS (2024)

Correa drove in three runs against his old team on the way to a 6-2 win

By Dayn Perry

1 min read

Astros vs. Twins score, highlights: Carlos Correa leads Minnesota to dominant Game 2 win to even ALDS (2)

Down 1-0 in the ALDS already, the Twins dominated the Astros Sunday night to tie the series at 1. Minnesota knocked Houston starter Framber Valdez out of the game in the fifth inning, thanks in large part to Carlos Correa, then finished it off with a 6-2 win.

The series now heads to Minnesota for Games 3 and 4. Here's what we learned Sunday:

Carlos Correa had a 'revenge game' to remember

OK, revenge is probably too strong, but Correa was playing his former team, which means such a narrative is required by best internet practices. Before inking with the Twins prior to last season, Correa had spent his entire pro career with the Astros after they drafted him No. 1 overall in 2012. In eight games over the last two regular seasons, he's struggled badly against Houston, but things have changed in this ALDS. Correa went 2 for 4 in the Game 1 loss, and in Game 2 he stepped it up further by going 3 for 3 with two doubles, a walk, and three RBI. His fifth-inning single broke it up in what was something close to a must-win affair for Minny:

In the Wild Card Series sweep of the Blue Jays, Correa was 3 for 7 with an HBP, so he's on an October heater thus far. That's most welcome for Correa and the Twins given that a severe case of plantar fasciitis cost him significant time down the stretch and sapped his production prior to that.

As well, Correa continues to burnish his reputation as a postseason performer. Coming into Game 2, Correa had a career playoff slash line of .279/.350/.506 with 18 home runs in 82 games. He also had a whopping 60 playoff RBI coming into Sunday's tilt, and that total is now 63. That bumps him up from his already lofty spot on the career postseason RBI list:

Bernie Williams: 80
Manny Ramírez: 78
David Justice: 63
Carlos Correa: 63
Derek Jeter: 61
David Ortiz: 61

Yep, he's now tied for third on the all-time list. More to the point, Correa did the heavy lifting for the Twins' offense in Game 2, and now it's a series again.

Pablo Lòpez twirled a gem

Twins starting pitcher Pablo Lòpez was outstanding in this one. Through 105 pitches in seven scoreless innings of work, he gave up just six hits and a walk while striking out seven. He got three swings and misses each with his fastball and sinker and amassed five whiffs with the change, seen here to start the seventh inning with a strikeout:

In Twins franchise history (which also includes the first iteration of the Washington Nationals), López joins Walter Johnson (1925 World Series Game 4), Earl Whitehill (1933 World Series Game 3), Jack Morris (1991 World Series Game 7) and Johan Santana (2004 ALDS Game 1) as the only pitchers to throw at least seven scoreless innings in a playoff start. Overall in these playoffs, López has allowed only one run in 12 2/3 innings of work.

By giving the Twins seven innings ahead of a Monday off day in the series, López also gave the hard-throwing Minnesota bullpen a light night's work.

Valdez didn't have it

Framber Valdez was nails during the Astros' run to the belt and the title last postseason, as he put up an ERA of 1.44 in four playoff starts. That's just four earned runs allowed across those 25 innings, but in Game 2 on Sunday it took him just 4 1/3 innings to give up five earned - i.e., more than he gave up all of last postseason. In related matters, the Minnesota offense - somewhat quietly one of the best in baseball this season - scalded Valdez for seven hard-hit balls (defined as those that leave the bat at 95 mph or greater) over that relatively brief span.

It's basically a best-of-three series now

Given that this is a best-of-five series is now tied 1-1, it's in essence a best-of-three series now with the Twins, who will host Games 3 and 4, having home-field advantage. For what it's worth, the Twins during the regular season were 47-34 at Target Field, but Houston was a robust 51-30 on the road (and below .500 at home, oddly enough). Call it a wash?

More important is that thanks to the way the two off days of this series fall, the Astros are tasked with facing Sonny Gray in Game 3 and Pablo López all over again in a deciding Game 5, if necessary. López, of course, suffocated the Astros on Sunday with

It's probably too much to say the Twins are now the favorites to advance to the ALCS for the first time since 2002, but the Astros are not in an enviable position.

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ALDS Game 2 final score: Twins 6, Astros 2

The Twins even the best-of-five series at 1-1 with their win in Houston on Sunday night. Former Astro Carlos Correa had three hits and three RBI, and Pablo López pitched seven scoreless. Game 3 will be on Tuesday at Target Field in Minneapolis.

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Twins 6, Astros 2

The series is tied, one game apiece, heading back to Minnesota for Games 3 and 4. Fittingly, Carlos Correa made a diving stop and strong throw to end the game. Pablo López dazzled for the Twins on the mound while Correa and Kyle Farmer starred at the plate for the winners.

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Jhoan Duran outings aren't nearly as fun on the road without his amazing closer entrance.

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Fire-breather Jhoan Duran on for Minny. Maybe the hardest thrower in baseball today.

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Yordan with another HR

After hitting two homers in Game 1, Yordan Alvarez just hit a two-run home run.

It's likely a too-little-too-late blast, but the Astros crowd is at least slightly awake now.

Alvarez now has played in 49 playoff games in his career and he's hit nine homers with 31 RBI. Believe it or not, he actually struggled in the power department in 2019. If we just went with 2021 through Sunday, he's got seven doubles, two triples, eight homers and 28 RBI in 31 playoff games.

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Very impressive outing from López

Twins starting pitcher Pablo López has been outstanding in this one. Through 105 pitches in seven scoreless innings of work, he gaveup just six hits and a walk while striking out seven. He got three swings and misses with each his fastball and sinker, but amassed five whiffs with the change, seen here to start the seventh inning with a strikeout:

The Twins will need to ride López and Game 3 starter Sonny Gray -- as they already did in the Wild Card Series -- in order to make a deep run in the playoffs. Both have done their jobs so far.

In Twins franchise history (which also includes the first iteration of the Washington Nationals), López joins Walter Johnson (1925 World Series Game 4), Earl Whitehill (1933 World Series Game 3), Jack Morris (1991 World Series Game 7) and Johan Santana (2004 ALDS Game 1) as the only pitchers to throw at least seven scoreless innings in a playoff start.

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Twins in full control

They're up 6-0 in the eighth and have a 99.2% chance of winning Game 2.

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Leash is probably short as López nears 100 pitches, but getting seven innings from him ahead of an off day would be huge for the Minny bullpen.

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The Astros are down by six runs, which means they need six runs to tie and eight runs to be up by two.

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6-0 Twins heading to the bottom of the seventh

Edouard Julien singles and one run scores before Correa is thrown out at home to end the inning.

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If the Twins hang on ...

Then the Astros will be facing Sonny Gray in Game 3 and López once again in a Game 5, both on full rest.

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And the bases are loaded

Ryan Jeffers is hit with a pitch. Only one out.

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All in

Carlos Correa's free agency was extremely messy, but in the long run, the Twins went out and spent $200 million to keep him and now they're in the playoffs. It's not a one-to-one action and result but Minnesota wanted to win and they paid for a winner.

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Carlos Correa with another double

He's now 3 for 3 with two doubles and three RBI.

Have a day, Carlos.

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No RBI this time

But another double for Carlos Correa. There's no place like home.

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Pablo López through five innings

The Twins' starter has worked around five hits and a walk in his five scoreless innings of work. He's struck out five, including a few really big ones like getting Alex Bregman swinging there to end the fifth, and has thrown 76 pitches. The Twins' path to winning series this postseason involves winning most or all games started by López and Game 3 starter Sonny Gray.

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Correa's 63 RBI

Correa has now pulled into a tie for third place with David Justice for most postseason RBI

Bernie Williams: 80

Manny Ramírez: 78

David Justice: 63

Carlos Correa: 63

Derek Jeter: 61

David Ortiz: 61

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And it turns out it was a bad choice by manager Dusty Baker

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Correa comes through again

The Houston Astros selected Carlos Correa first overall in the 2012 MLB draft. He'd eventually be part of three pennant-winning Astros teams and win a ring in 2017. He departed for the Twins via free agency after the 2021 World Series and now in the 2023 playoffs, he's torturing his former team in Game 2 of the ALDS.

In the first inning Sunday night, Correa banged one high off the left-center wall for an RBI double. In the fifth, he came to the plate with the bases loaded and one out. He delivered with a knock up the middle.

That's a three-RBI game for Correa. He's now tied with David Justice third all-time in postseason RBI with 63. He trails only Bernie Williams (80) and Manny Ramirez (78).

The Twins now have a 5-0 lead over the defending champion Astros in the fifth inning.

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In a postseason during which almost every starting pitcher has had a short hook, leaving Valdez in is...a choice.

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Bases loaded!

For Carlos Correa!

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Twins threatening again

A pair of singles to open the fifth is followed by a Jorge Polanco bunt (looks like he was trying to bunt for a hit, but it counts as a sacrifice) and it's second and third with one out for Royce Lewis. Carlos Correa is on deck. Danger zone for Astros.

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The Twins' chances of winning Game 2

Through four innings, the Twins lead the Astros 3-0 and have a 79.7% chance of winning the game and evening the series at 1-1.

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Threat over

Pablo López gets McCormick swinging to end the threat. 3-0 Twins through four.

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Astros rallying

With two outs, the runners are at the corners for Chas McCormick, who had a nice power season.

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Framber Valdez has looked good. Pablo López has looked better. This has been a pretty uneventful game so far outside of a few at-bats.

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Exit velo of 30.8 mph on that Peña hit.

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Valdez through three innings

He's given up three runs on four hits with two walks. He's needed 62 pitches. He's allowed five hard hit balls.

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Jeremy Peña's October

The Astros shortstop had a fine but not great 2023, but we all saw what he can do in October last year. That play was a nice reminder.

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Astros vs. Twins score, highlights: Carlos Correa leads Minnesota to dominant Game 2 win to even ALDS (3)

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Astros vs. Twins score, highlights: Carlos Correa leads Minnesota to dominant Game 2 win to even ALDS (2024)
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