Houston Astros first baseman Yulieski Gurriel set himself apart from any rookie who has come before him Monday, when the Astros beat the Boston Red Sox 5-4 and advanced to the Championship Series for the fifth time in franchise history.
Gurriel went 3-for-5 with a double, a triple, and a run scored in Monday’s victory. While doing so, he also became the first rookie to record a hit in six consecutive postseason at-bats, per the Elias Sports Bureau (via ESPN.com).
Only three other rookies had reached the milestone of logging a hit in five consecutive at-bats in the postseason. Among them were the New York Yankees’ Brian Doyle (1978), the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Chad Fonville (1995) and Houston teammate Carlos Correa (2015).
Gurriel turned 33 during his first full season in the league, but that didn’t stop him from being a productive member of Houston’s high-powered offense, which scored a league-high 896 runs in 2017. Over 139 games he slashed .299/.332/.486 while mashing 18 home runs.
The Cuba native’s efforts at the plate were a significant improvement compared to the brief stint he made in the Show at the latter end of the 2016 season.
During that short run, he posted just a .262 batting average and unimpressive .677 OPS over 36 games. Gurriel’s second go-around resulted in him hitting a team-high 43 doubles and notching 75 RBI, which ranked sixth among his fellow Astros.
He has carried his impressive performance into the postseason. After starting each contest during Houston’s four-game series against the Red Sox, Gurriel has gone 9-for-17 (.556) and struck out just once.
The Astros will face the winner of the series between the Cleveland Indians and New York Yankees.