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MLB returns to Mexico City
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 28 - 03 - 2016

Carlos Correa and Tyler White hit back-to-back home runs in the fourth inning, and the Houston Astros routed the San Diego Padres 11-1 Saturday night in the first Major League game in Mexico City in 12 years.
Correa's shot went over the right-field wall and White followed with a drive to left-center against Robbie Erlin as both Astros hitters took advantage of the city's altitude of 7,350 feet.
It was Correa's fourth home run this spring, tying Marwin Gonzalez for the club lead.
"In batting practice the hitters were excited and the pitchers were a little nervous, but as the game progressed the guys did a great job," Houston manager A.J. Hinch said.
Jake Marisnick knocked in a run with a double for Houston. Tyler Heineman hit a two-run single and Danny Worth doubled in three more during a seven-run rally in the eighth.
Mexico City had not hosted a big league game since March 2004, when the Astros played the Marlins at Foro Sol.
The split-squad game Saturday was played at Fray Nano Stadium, which seats 5,000 fans.
"The atmosphere was a better environment, with so much energy. It was greater than a normal spring training game," Hinch said. "The music, the vibe was a bit higher, so we are happy to be here."
Trae Santos' triple in the ninth gave the Padres their only run.
"You never want to lose like this. We want to win, but this is spring training and we're evaluating players," San Diego manager Andy Green said. "The ball flied a lot but unfortunately we did not take advantage of it."
Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow was born in Mexico City and lived there until he was 15. Bringing a game to his hometown was one of his goals when he took the job five years ago.
"I'm very happy. I grew up here, so it's good to be back. Since Day 1 I imagined being here for a game. It took me four years, but thanks to the commissioner and the Mexico City officials we were able to achieve it," Luhnow said. "As an organization it's a big step for us. Hopefully this is the first of many because we want to be known as Mexico's team."
Luhnow said several teams will be competing for the Mexican fan base, including the Padres, Dodgers and Diamondbacks.
"It will depend on who's more successful," he said. "We have the advantage of being close to Mexico and there are many Hispanics of Mexican descent in Texas. We also signed several Mexican players, so we hope it's a combination of both."
Padres left fielder Jabari Blash was hit in the head by a pitch from Preston Tucker and left the game in the sixth inning. Green, however, said after the game that Blash is fine and did not sustain an injury.
Chris Devenski of Astros did a good job of keeping the ball down. He gave up three hits and struck out seven in 4 1-3 innings. Devenski began the spring as a non-roster invitee.
The teams play another exhibition game Sunday afternoon. — AP

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