SAN DIEGO — Before Carlos Correa headed to the plate in the ninth inning of Game 5 of the AL Championship Series, he told Dusty Baker, “Walkoff.”
The 71-year-old manager replied, “Go ahead, man,” and then said a quick prayer to his father and brother.
If the Houston Astros had been forced to go extra innings against the Tampa Bay Rays, Baker thought, he’d have to burn Framber Valdéz, his projected Game 6 starter.
Baker’s prayer was answered with a loud crack.
Correa homered with one out in the ninth, and the Astros beat the Rays 4-3 Thursday behind sensational pitching from five rookies, closing to 3-2 in the series.
Correa drove a fastball at the letters from Nick Anderson just past the palm trees to the right of the batter’s eye at Petco Park, watched the ball for a few steps and then flung his bat. He was greeted at home by his ecstatic teammates and had a long hug with Baker.
“I don’t mean no disrespect when I call my shot,” said Correa, who added that he went to the indoor cage after his second and third at-bats to work with hitting coach Alex Cintron and make adjustments.
“We felt it and it was like, ‘Wow. This feels good,'” the shortstop said.
He passed on his positive view to teammate Altuve after the eighth.
“I told Altuve walking off the field, ‘I’m going to end it,'” Correa recalled. “I could feel that my swing was in sync, I could feel that my rhythm was good, I could feel that I wanted to drive the ball. When he threw me the fastball I swung good and got exactly what I wanted.”
Correa is only 3 for 18 in the series, but two of the hits are homers.
Houston won a second straight elimination game thanks in large part to starter Luis Garcia and four fellow rookies, who combined to hold the Rays to two runs and four hits through 6 2/3 innings before Baker finally turned to a veteran, Josh James. Ryan Pressly, the seventh Astros pitcher, got the victory.
The Astros forced Game 6 on Friday, a rematch of the first game started by left-handers Blake Snell of Tampa Bay and Valdéz.
In the ALCS for a fourth straight year, the Astros are trying to join the 2004 Boston Red Sox as the only teams to come back from a 3-0 deficit in a best-of-seven series. The Red Sox beat the New York Yankees in the ALCS and went on to win their first World Series in 86 seasons.
Otherwise, big league clubs leading 3-0 in a best-of-seven post-season series are 37-1.
“Boy, that will go down as one of greatest games in history and hopefully go down as one of greatest comebacks in history after two more games,” said Baker, the first manager to take five different teams to the playoffs. “That’s as big a game as I’ve been involved in. That’s one of the reason’s that I came back.”
The Astros, who got into the playoffs with a 29-31 regular-season record, are trying to reach the World Series for the third time in four years. They are attempting to get there in a year when they have been criticized for their role in a cheating scandal en route to the 2017 title that was uncovered last off-season.
Correa also hit a walkoff homer in Game 2 of the 2017 ALCS off Aroldis Chapman of the New York Yankees.
“I still made a good pitch, and he wasn’t coming off the heater,” Anderson said. “I don’t think anybody is worried.”
George Springer homered on opener John Curtiss’ first pitch and Michael Brantley broke a tie with a two-run single. Houston became the first team with a leadoff and walk-off home run in a post-season game.
“You go from feeling pretty good about our chances to knowing the game was over a short time after that,” Rays outfielder Kevin Kiermaier said.
Tampa Bay’s Ji-Man Choi tied the game with a homer leading off the eighth.
Rookie Randy Arozarena continued his remarkable post-season by hitting his sixth homer in 12 games and Brandon Lowe also connected for the Rays, who need one more win to reach the Fall Classic for the second time.
Springer led off the bottom of the first by sending Curtiss’ first pitch onto the second balcony of the Western Metal Supply Co. Building in the left field corner. On Wednesday night, he drove a two-run shot onto the third balcony to break a tie and lead the Astros to a 4-3 win.
It was his fourth homer this post-season and 19th of his career, the most in franchise history and tying Albert Pujols for fourth all-time.
After Lowe homered off Blake Taylor leading off the third to tie the game, Brantley hit a two-run single against Josh Fleming.
Arozarena pulled the Rays to 3-2 with an opposite-field shot to right-centre off Enoli Paredes with one out in the fifth. Arozarena homered for the second straight game, third time this series and sixth time this post-season, tying the rookie record set by Tampa Bay’s Evan Longoria in 2008.
His 20 post-season hits are two shy of Derek Jeter’s rookie record in 1996.
Garcia held Tampa Bay hitless in two innings while striking out two and walking one. Taylor allowed one hit and one run in two-thirds of an inning, Paredes allowed one run and one hit in 1 2/3 innings, Andre Scrubb gave up two hits in 1 1/2 innings and Brooks Raley worked a scoreless inning with two strikeouts, including fanning Arozarena leading off the seventh.
Garcia, making his first post-season appearance, got out of a bases-loaded jam in the second. Paredes got consecutive strikeouts with runners on first and second in the fourth. Scrubb came on with a runner on first and one out in the fifth and struck out Yandy Diaz before allowing Ji-Man Choi’s single. He got Manuel Margot to hit a grounder to third baseman Alex Bregman, who bare-handed it and threw him out to end the inning.
Baker’s instincts won out again when he decided to leave in Garcia with two on and two out in the second. After a visit by pitching coach Brent Strom, Garcia walked Willy Adames and retired Mike Zunino on a flyout to the warning track.
Taylor took over opening the third and gave up Lowe’s leadoff homer.
“We get to play another day,” Baker said. “Tomorrow is huge. I mean, we’re one step closer to getting over that mountain, and that hurdle that seemed way off in the distance a couple days ago.”
Rays: Kiermaier was out of the starting lineup a second straight day after getting hit by a pitch on the left hand on Tuesday night. He pinch ran in the ninth.
Astros: Valdéz lost the ALCS opener 2-1.
Rays: Snell pitched five innings to win the opener.
Bengals DE Carlos Dunlap offers house for sale after loss to Browns, fight with coach – Yahoo Canada Sports
<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Carlos Dunlap appears to be done with the Cincinnati Bengals.” data-reactid=”12″>Carlos Dunlap appears to be done with the Cincinnati Bengals.
The two-time Pro Bowl defensive end has spent his entire 11-season career with the Bengals, but seemed to reach his breaking point with the franchise on Sunday.
<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The Bengals lost a tight game to the rival Cleveland Browns as quarterback Baker Mayfield threw for five touchdowns against the Cincinnati defense.” data-reactid=”14″>The Bengals lost a tight game to the rival Cleveland Browns as quarterback Baker Mayfield threw for five touchdowns against the Cincinnati defense.
As time wound down, cameras caught Dunlap in a sideline argument with the coaching staff.
Dunlap: ‘I don’t got time for this’
Dunlap lost his starting job earlier this season and wrote, via Instagram on Saturday “I don’t got time for this” alongside a whiteboard image of the Bengals depth chart.
That post has since been removed.
House for sale in Cincinnati
The 31-year-old failed to record a tackle in Sunday’s loss. Immediately after the game, he announced on Twitter that his house is for sale. “Serious inquiries only.” They read:
~6000 sqft city view with huge balcony. 4 bedroom. 4.5 bathroom. In one of the best school districts for sale. Do your market analysis and make me offer. Serious inquiries only with proof of funds!
Owner is willing to sell furnished or unfurnished!
— Carlos Dunlap (@Carlos_Dunlap) October 25, 2020
The tweets have since been deleted.
The NFL trade deadline is Nov. 3. Dunlap is making clear that he wants to be a part of it.
<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="More from Yahoo Sports:” data-reactid=”38″>More from Yahoo Sports:
Prediction: New York Jets vs Buffalo Bills NFL Picks 10/25/20 Odds – Sports Chat Place
Buffalo Bills (4-2) at New York Jets (0-6)
NFL Football: Sunday, October 25, 2020 at 1:00 pm (MetLife Stadium)
The Line: New York Jets +10 — Over/Under: 48
Click Here for the Latest Odds
The Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets meet in a week 7 AFC East division matchup in NFL action from MetLife Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The Buffalo Bills will try to rebound from back-to-back losses after a 26-17 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday night football. In the loss to Kansas City, Josh Allen threw for 122 yards, 2 touchdowns and an interception on 14 of 27 passing, by far his least productive passing game of the year as it was Allen’s first game without at least 24 pass completions. Allen also led the Bills with 42 rushing yards while Devin Singletary and Zack Moss combined for 42 rushing yards as well. Stefon Diggs led Buffalo’s receiving group with 6 grabs for 46 yards and a touchdown while Cole Beasley had 4 receptions for 45 yards and a score. On defense, Tremaine Edmunds led the Bills with 12 total tackles while Jordan Poyer had 10 total tackles with a team-high 9 solo tackles.
The New York Jets will look to pick up their first win of the season after falling to the Miami Dolphins by a final score of 24-0 last time out, stepping back to 0-6. Sam Darnold has thrown for 792 yards, 3 touchdowns and 4 interceptions but is currently dealing with an injury, leaving Joe Flacco to throw for 397 yards, a touchdown and a pick on 51.9% passing. Frank Gore leads the Jets in rushing with 250 rushing yards while Jamison Crowder has a team-high 29 grabs on 48 targets for 383 yards and a pair of TDs. Braxton Berrios has 141 receiving yards with a. pair of TDs as well and Chris Hogan and Jeff Smith each have 100+ receiving yards for the Jets this season. Defensively, Neville Hewitt leads New York with 46 total tackles including 26 solo tackles while Avery Williamson has 27 solo tackles. Marcus Maye and Quinnen Williams each have a pair of sacks while Pierre Desir has 26 solo tackles with a team-high 3 interceptions and Brian Poole has a team-high 28 solo tackles with a pair of picks.
Buffalo is 1-3-1 Against the Spread in their last 5 road games and 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games as a favorite while the under is 4-0 in their last 4 games following a loss. New York is 0-6 ATS in their last 6 games overall and 1-5 ATS in their last 6 division games while the under is 4-1 in their last 5 games against a team with a winning record. The road team is 4-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings between these two teams.
I get that the Bills are playing on a short week, but the New York Jets have been an absolute joke of a football team so far this season. I mean the majority of their losses have come by double-digits and the Jets aren’t just 0-6 SU, they’re 0-6 against the number as well this year. I just think things will get worse for the Jets before they get better, so I’ll lay the points with Buffalo on the road here by default.
Bills' Knox tests positive for COVID-19 – TSN
Buffalo Bills tight end Dawson Knox has tested positive for the coronavirus and will miss Sunday’s road game against the New York Jets.
The team said Saturday he was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list along with three players in close contact with Knox — Lee Smith, Tommy Sweeney (on the PUP list) and Nate Becker (on the practice squad). They, too, will miss the game.
This is the first positive coronavirus test for a Bills player since the season began. Each of Buffalo’s previous two games were moved from their initial dates because of the the outbreak in the Tennessee Titans organization.
The Bills will travel as scheduled Saturday afternoon and continue preparations for the Jets.
Buffalo has two remaining tight ends on its roster — Tyler Kroft and Reggie Gilliam.
Four players were promoted from the practice squad to the active roster — wide receiver Duke Williams, offensive lineman Jordan Devey, linebacker Andre Smith and cornerback Dane Jackson.
The team said backup linebacker Tyrel Dodson (hamstring) was placed on injured reserve.
The Bills were previously affected by a string of false positive tests in late August. They sent their rookies home in late July to work remotely after five players tested positive.
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