HOUSTON (KIAH) Astros rookie Jeremy Pena had huge shoes to fill coming into this season.
The team moved on from longtime short stop Carlos Correa in the offseason, and the free agent signed to play in Minnesota.
That left a hole in the Houston batting order and the middle of the infield on defense.
Enter Pena, who’s red-hot start to the postseason has helped the Astros take a one-game-to-none lead in their sixth straight American League Championship Series.
“It’s easy to — I guess — go out and compete when you have guys that have done it for so long,” Pena said. “These guys have done it year in, year out, and it’s just fun to be a part of it.”
Pena was three for four in Wednesday night’s ALCS Game One matchup with the New York Yankees, clubbing two doubles and a solo home run.
It played a big role in the Astros’ 4-2 victory along with solid pitching including six innings of three-hit, one-run ball from starter Justin Verlander.
“After we had a few days off, it’s nice to get back in the flow of the game and win one,” Verlander said.
Houston had last played Saturday — the marathon 18-inning, American League Divisional Series-clinching Game Three against the Seattle Mariners.
The Astros have no days off before their next contest.
First pitch of ALCS Game Two is set for 6:37 p.m. from Minute Maid Park and televised on TBS.
Framber Valdez is set to be the starting pitcher for the Astros versus Luis Severino for the Yankees.