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Astros 1, White Sox 3: Spectacular Sale rains on Correa Day

The stars seemed to be aligned against this day being as glorious as it could have been.

Carlos Correa hustles out a single, his first MLB hit
Carlos Correa hustles out a single, his first MLB hit
Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

Things started out inauspiciously, with a sudden shower causing a brief delay to the start of the game. Once things got underway, the pitching matchup began to live up to it's hype. Lance McCullers pitched well, matching up with Chris Sale initially despite allowing the first run of the game.

Carlos Correa, making his Major League debut, announced his presence with semi-authority, beating out a grounder to shortstop in the fourth inning and being awarded his first hit and RBI upon review by the umpires. The game was tied at one, but that was as close as it got.

Just the next half inning, McCullers spotted a fastball pretty well on the outside edge and down, what usually might be a called strike our a weak swing. Instead, Avisale Garcia reached out and hit it squarely to the opposite field. The two-run homer made it 3-1, and the Astros would never recover.

McCullers can't be blamed much, though. It was a good pitch, well-located. The effort was good, but the result not. Sometimes you can only tip your cap. C'est la vie. But on a night when one of the nastiest pitchers on the planet is at his best, it can make all the difference. On another night, perhaps the Astros once again find late-inning magic.

Instead Sale left the game after eight dominant innings, with 14 of his 24 outs being collected on strikes. The Astros managed just five hits and a walk against the South Sider's superior southpaw. David Robertson, who scorned Houston as a free agent in the off-season, nailed down a save in the ninth, despite Chris Carter reaching base ahead of Correa, who represented the tying run. For McCullers' part, he made it through seven innings, allowing three earned runs and punching out seven batters while walking none. He has 18 strike outs and no walks in his last two starts as he continues to look like a real long-term solution to the rotation question.

Still, despite the best efforts of Mother Nature and Sale, with a hit and an RBI under his belt, not to mention a sparkling defensive play late in the game, Correa's debut was certainly a success on a personal level. He and George Springer were the only Astros who did not strike out at least once against Sale. The Astros' skid since announcing the demolition of Tal's Hill has hit five games.

Tomorrow's Matchup:

The Astros will send ace Dallas Keuchel to the mound against top prospect Carlos Rodon, who stymied the Astros offense in their recent series at Minute Maid Park. First pitch is at 7:10 PM central time.