Venezuelan second baseman José Altuve responded when the Houston Astros needed him most to secure the American League Division Series, and reach the Championship for the fifth time in a row, where they will rival the Boston Red Sox, whom he considers « a great team".
The Astros destroyed the Chicago White Sox 10-1 in Game 3 of the best-of-five tie and won 1-XNUMX.
"We know each other well," Altuve said after the game in which he homered and went 5-for-3 with four touchdowns and three RBIs. "They know how to play ball and like us they've been to the playoffs before, so it's going to be a very interesting and fun series."
Astros are seeking the second franchise championship after winning it all in 2017, a title that still evokes a strong backlash after the team was punished for using electronic devices to steal signals.
The White Sox fans, filling the stands at Guaranteed Rate Field, chanted the shout of “Cheater! Cheater! ”, Especially when Altuve himself, Puerto Rican shortstop Carlos Correa and third baseman Alex Bregman, who were part of the 2017 team, were going to hit.
Also, White Sox reliever Ryan Tepera hinted late Sunday night, when the Astros lost 12-6, that Houston may have been stealing posters in their first two home games.
But the Astros, used to dealing with boos since the scandal came to light, ignored it. When asked about Tepera's comments after Game XNUMX was postponed on Monday due to rain, Bregman replied: “Everything is fine. We are focused on winning games. That is all".
However, Correa, who could be playing his final playoffs with the Astros, will become a free agent at the end of the postseason.
Correa put Houston ahead for his two-out double in the third, pulling Cuban-American starter Carlos Rodon's 0-2 fastball to the left. The Astros loaded the bases with two walks and a fastball that hit Altuve, prompting a round of cheers from the 40.170 spectators that filled the stands.
Correa pointed to his left wrist and then hit his chest and yelled "It's my time!" as he moved into second place after the big hit in his 67th professional postseason game.
"Disrespectful words without facts to contribute," declared Correa about the Tepera position. "The real answer has been about the diamond, I hope you have taken note."
The White Sox manager himself, Tony La Russa, 77, pointed out that everyone on his team had the right to freedom of expression, to say what they wanted.
"The Astros are a great team, they play great baseball and they have shown it on the field by being better than us," La Russa stressed.