• Brian L. Barefield

In Familiar Territory Astros take Game 1 of the ALDS over the A’s at Dodger Stadium.

Photo Credit/Houston Astros

Los Angeles – Baseball in the postseason at Dodger Stadium just does something to the Houston Astros. The last time Houston played a game there, they won Game 7 to win the 2017 World Series. On Monday it looked like the Astros relived some of that history as they defeated the Oakland A’s 10-5 in Game 1 of the 2020 American League Division Series.

It was the Astros third straight playoff win and the first time since August that the team has won three consecutive games.

Houston (1-0) used 16-hits and two ferocious homeruns by shortstop Carlos Correa to get the victory. He now has 14 postseason home runs which are the most by any player before 27 years of age. Correa was hot at the plate driving in four runs on three hits in five plate appearances and also became the first Astros player to have multi-homer postseason games.

The brash and outspoken Correa is never one to back down from a challenge and rises to the occasion when the lights are the brightest.

Photo Credit/Houston Astros

"I love October baseball," Correa said in his postgame interview. "I want to be in those spots. I want to be in situations, you know, decisive situations. You know, October baseball, the energy's just different. I know there's no fans here but knowing that you win or go home is what drives me every single day. I don't want to go home just yet."

The Astros sent a resounding message led by the top of their lineup that they are not ready to go home yet either. Houston’s first seven batters in the lineup went 15-for-31 on the day led by Correa and a familiar face to Dodger Stadium in the postseason, George Springer. The 2017 World Series MVP had four hits against the A’s which set the pace for the Astros lineup.

“I think as a whole, as a group, we strung together good at quality bats,” said Springer. “It was a good offensive day for us, but it’s on to tomorrow.”

Taking it one day at a time and living in the moment has been the mantra for a team that finished the regular season under .500 with a 29-31 record coming into the playoffs. Many had written them off and said they would be out in the first round of the playoffs. All they have done since then is outscore their opponents 17-7 in their last three games.

Photo Credit/Houston Astros

Houston was down by two runs heading into the top of the sixth inning after Lance McCullers allowed three homeruns and five runs through four innings pitched. With two-outs, A’s shortstop Marcus Semien kept the inning alive with an error that allowed Josh Reddick to reach base.

Catcher Martin Maldonado singled through the hole at shortstop to put two men on base and Springer lined a double down the left-field line to score Reddick and put runners on second and third for Jose Altuve who would drive in two more runs with a single to give the Astros the lead and they never relinquished it.

Houston’s bullpen continued its postseason success by keeping the Oakland bats quiet as the combined group of Blake Taylor, Enoli Paredes, Cristian Javier and Ryan Pressly pitched five scoreless innings and didn’t allow a hit. That makes 14 2/3 innings that the Astros bullpen has not allowed a run in the playoffs.

“Our bullpen came in and did a great job,” said Astros manager Dusty Baker.

Game 2 of the ALDS is on Tuesday at Dodger Stadium. First pitch is at 3:37 CST.

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