Astros win No. 60, lead by 16½ games
TORONTO — Carlos Correa, Jose Altuve and the Houston Astros put on quite an All-Star performance.
Correa hit two home runs and drove in a career-high five runs, Altuve got three more hits and the Astros romped into the break, battering the Toronto Blue Jays 19-1 Sunday.
The runaway leaders in the AL West became the fifth team in the last 40 years to reach 60 victories before the All-Star Game, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
They joined the 1998 Yankees, 2001 Mariners, 2003 Braves and
this year’s Los Angeles Dodgers (61-29), who got there Saturday.
At 60-29, Houston heads into the break with a 16½-game lead over Texas and the Angels.
“I feel like we have a really good team,” Correa said. “From 1 through 9 we can do damage, so today we showed what we’re capable of.”
The Astros won 14 of 19 to close out the first half, including Sunday victory, the franchise’s most lopsided victory ever, but Manager A.J. Hinch said he felt the break comes at a good time for his club.
“It’s nice to say we should keep this going, but we need as many people to rest up here in the next four days,” he said.
Correa had four hits one day after a 15-game hitting
streak came to an end, with two home runs putting him at 20 for the season.
Altuve, a fellow All-Star, and Yuli Gurriel and Evan Gattis also hit home runs for Houston. Altuve had three hits for the fifth consecutive game — he became the ninth major leaguer to do so in more than a century, and the first since George Brett’s record-tying six-game streak for Kansas City in 1976.
Gattis drove in four runs with two hits as Houston scored at least 19 runs for the fourth time.
J.A. Happ (3-6) lasted four innings, matching his shortest outing of the season and picking up his second loss against Houston in eight starts against his former team. The left-hander gave up seven hits and six runs.
“I wasn’t very crisp today and against that lineup especially, you need to be,” he said.
Houston catcher Evan Gattis (right) is congratulated by right fielder George Springer after Gattis’ three-run home run in the sixth inning of Sunday’s 19-1 blowout of Toronto.