SAN DIEGO (AP) — Carlos Correa sometimes refers to his swing as “sexy.”
His big three-run homer on Friday night certainly fit the bill.
Kyle Tucker hit a tiebreaking two-run home run in the eighth inning and Correa’s three-run shot in the fourth ended a 22-inning scoreless streak for the Houston Astros, who beat the scuffling San Diego Padres 6-3.
“It was one of the sexiest ones this year, for sure,” Correa said. “I wanted to do exactly that. I was looking for exactly that pitch and it just feels good to tattoo a ball like that to dead center. The swing felt great today.”
Tucker homered with two outs off Emilio Pagán (4-1) into the deck atop the right field wall, his 23rd. Alex Bregman was aboard on a single.
The AL West-leading Astros were coming off consecutive shutout losses at Seattle. They hadn’t scored since the eighth inning of a 4-3 win over the Mariners on Monday.
Correa snapped that streak when he drove a shot off the top of a planter in front of the batter’s eye in center against Jake Arrieta with two outs in the fourth. Michael Brantley was aboard on a leadoff single and Tucker walked with one out ahead of Correa’s 21st homer.
“We’re pretty aware that we haven’t been scoring runs lately, so getting that three-run homer was huge,” Correa said. “Just reset and go out there and do what we do best, and that’s hitting, man. Tucker came through with a big homer and we were able to able take that win.”
Correa’s drive gave Houston a 3-1 lead. The Padres tied it on an RBI double with one out in the fifth by Tommy Pham, who was pinch-hitting for Arrieta, and a single by Austin Nola with one out in the sixth.
“That was a big three-run homer Carlos hit because Arrieta was throwing the ball real well,” manager Dusty Baker said. “Before tonight he had problems with walks, but tonight he was throwing the ball like the old Jake Arrieta I’d seen in the past.”
It was Houston’s first game at Petco Park since it lost Game 7 of the AL Championship Series to Tampa Bay in the playoff bubble last season.
Blake Taylor (3-4) got the final out of the seventh for the win. Ryan Pressly pitched the ninth for his 23rd save.
The Astros added a run in the ninth on Jake Meyers’ single that ate up first baseman Eric Hosmer.
The Padres have lost seven of 10 and remain a half game behind Cincinnati for the second wild-card spot.
The Padres loaded the bases with two outs in the seventh before Eric Hosmer struck out on a pitch above the zone.
Arrieta allowed three runs and three hits in five innings in his second start since the Padres signed him as a minor league free agent on Aug. 16. A mild left hamstring strain forced him out of his Padres debut on Aug. 18 at Colorado and he was placed on the injured list. He was activated before Friday’s game.
Houston’s José Urquidy went 4 1/3 innings in his first start since June 29, allowing two runs and five hits. He missed two months with right shoulder discomfort.
He allowed Pham’s RBI double and Manny Machado’s RBI infield single with two outs in the third, which originally was ruled a groundout but was overturned after video review.
Urquidy singled off Arrieta with two outs in the third for his first big league hit.
LHP Framber Valdez (9-4, 2.91) of the Astros and RHP Joe Musgrove (9-8, 2.85) are scheduled to start Saturday night in the middle game of the series. Musgrove is coming off his second complete game shutout of the season, a three-hitter at the Angels. His first was the Padres’ first-ever no-hitter, at Texas on April 9.
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