The Express sent Carlos Correa back to the big leagues in the best possible way.
Round Rock downed the Omaha Storm Chasers 3-0 on Wednesday night in the second of a three-game series. The Houston All-Star finished 1-for-2 with a walk and a run scored while playing all nine innings at shortstop.
“Austin is a great city and Round Rock has one of the best minor-league ballparks. Correa said. “(Dell Diamond) is a great facility with a great surface and great fans. I’ve loved every minute I’ve been here.”
Correa played six games with the Express during his rehab assignment, finishing with seven hits in 21 at-bats (.316 average) with two RBIs, two walks and two runs scored. He struck out five times.
“I got my at-bats and I got my ground balls,” Correa said. “I feel ready to join the team and get back with my teammates in Houston. “We don’t want to settle for anything less than a championship. I’m ready to roll.”
In his second start of the season, Round Rock righty Kent Emanuel (5-1, 4.26) picked up the win, allowing three hits and giving up one walk and no runs with five strikeouts over seven innings.
Jack Mayfield scored the first run of the game for the Express in the fourth when Kyle Tucker hit into a fielders’ choice. Josh Rojas sent the first pitch he saw over the right-field wall to score two more runs in the fifth.
Rojas is the sixth player to hit 12 home runs in a Round Rock jersey this season.
Round Rock is still trailing the San Antonio Missions by four games in the PCL American Southern Division.
The Express finish off the series with the Storm Chasers on Thursday night before hitting the road for a three-game set against the Iowa Cubs beginning Friday night. They return to Dell Diamond on July 30 when the Fresno Grizzlies come to town.
For Correa, his time in Round Rock was spent working on his timing and mental sharpness, having been away from the game since he fractured his rib while getting a massage at his house in late May.
“It’s hard, but it’s part of the process,” Correa said. “We get hurt but we need to focus on rehab and get back on the field and be even better than we were before. That’s been my main focus since I got hurt.”
He’ll be one of the last pieces of a long sting of injuries over the first half of the season for Houston, but the Astros have been able to hold on to a sizable lead in the AL West division.
“I’m really excited to get back,” Correa said. “I’ve been paying attention to every single game. The guys are doing great. They’re rolling right now and doing what they’re supposed to do, and that’s winning ballgames.”