- Associated Press - Saturday, October 14, 2017

HOUSTON (AP) - Marwin Gonzalez capped his big game in the AL Championship Series opener with an even bigger moment.

Soon after throwing out a runner at the plate to help the Houston Astros beat the New York Yankees 2-1 on Friday night, Gonzalez dashed to the hospital to be there for the birth of his third child, a boy named Blake Jacob.

“I was happy and exhausted at the same time,” Gonzalez said after Houston went up 2-0 in the best-of-seven series with another 2-1 victory Saturday. “But I was happy I was able to be there.”

Astros manager A.J. Hinch said the boy was born to Gonzalez and his wife, Noel, in the early morning hours on Saturday. It’s the second son for Gonzalez. His oldest child is a daughter.

“Pretty good night for him,” Hinch said.

Hinch added that Gonzalez dropped his wife off at the hospital before heading to the game and returned there when it was over.

“He’s been playing every game knowing it was pretty close,” Hinch said. “They thought the other day while we were in Boston for Game 3 and 4 that they would have the baby while he was gone. So she was pretty miserable.”

Gonzalez didn’t get a text from his wife during the game with an update, so he thought he might have missed the birth.

“I thought I wasn’t going to make it,” he said. “I thought she was going to surprise me with the baby.”

Instead, he arrived about 90 minutes before little Blake did.

In Friday night’s game, the Astros led 2-0 when Greg Bird singled to start the fifth inning and Matt Holliday reached when Jose Altuve dropped his slow bouncer to second for an error. Aaron Judge singled with two outs and Gonzalez, throwing with such force that he fell to the ground, made a 97 mph, one-hop throw to catcher Brian McCann, who tagged the sliding Bird.

It would have been a huge play for anyone, but was even more impressive considering Gonzalez is primarily an infielder who has been playing left field in the postseason so Hinch can get his bat in the lineup after Gonzalez hit a career-best .303 in the regular season.

Gonzalez threw out Boston’s Mitch Moreland at the plate in the Division Series finale and is the first outfielder with assists in consecutive postseason games since Jim Rice in the 1986 World Series. Gonzalez joined Lance Berkman as the only players in franchise history to have two outfield assists in one postseason.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi called it a “perfect throw” and teammate Carlos Correa said that it was “one of the best throws I’ve ever seen from an outfielder.”

“That’s a good day and he’s back in the lineup (Saturday),” Hinch said.

Gonzalez looked spent as he slumped in his chair in the clubhouse after the game, and said he couldn’t wait to board the plane to New York so he could take a much-needed nap.

“That’s the first thing I’m going to do when I get to the plane,” he said.

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