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Martinez, Devers Slam Astros In Game 2 As Red Sox Even ALCS

CBS Boston logo CBS Boston 10/17/2021 Syndicated Local – CBS Boston

HOUSTON (CBS) — The Red Sox had a grand old time in Houston on Saturday night, evening their ALCS with the Astros at a game apiece thanks to a pair of big swings from J.D. Martinez and Rafael Devers.

Boston clubbed a pair of grand slams over the first two innings of Game 2, with Martinez hitting one in the first inning and Devers following with one in the second. The Red Sox took Game 2 in convincing fashion, 9-5, to even the series.

Martinez put the Red Sox on top 4-0 with a grand slam off Houston starter Luis Garcia in the top of the first, going opposite field and sending Garcia’s 1-0 fastball into the right field stands. Devers doubled that score with a slam of his own in the top of the second, wrapping a Jake Odorizzi offering around the foul pole in right to make it 8-0 Boston.

The Red Sox are the first team in MLB postseason history to hit two grand slams in the same playoff game. Saturday night was the first time that the Red Sox hit two grand slams in the same game since May 22, 2008, when J.D. Drew and Mike Lowell each hit one in a regular season win over the Kansas City Royals.

Kiké Hernandez remained hot for Boston, adding a solo homer — his third of the series — in the top of the fourth to give the Sox a 9-0 lead. Hernandez is now up to five homers in the 2021 playoffs, which ties the Boston record for the most home runs in a single postseason. David Ortiz hit five in the same postseason twice (2013 and 2004), while Todd Walker hit five out of the yard in 2003.

All of that offense was in support of Boston starter Nate Eovaldi, who went 5.1 innings and allowed three earned runs, striking out three. Houston scored all three of its runs off Eovaldi in the fourth inning, with Yuli Gurriel driving in a pair on a two-out double

Gurriel had another opportunity to cut it closer in the bottom of the sixth, when Adam Ottavino came on mid-inning in relief of Eovaldi. Gurriel had runners at second and third with two outs and worked the count full against Ottavino, but grounded out to Devers at third to end the inning.

Garrett Whitlock tossed scoreless innings in the seventh and eighth for Boston, striking out a pair of Astros. Darwinzon Hernandez got the ball to start the ninth and allowed a pair of solo homers to Gurriel and Jason Castro in his first action since Oct. 1. Ryan Brasier retired Jose Altuve for the game’s final out to secure the win for the Red Sox.

Boston finished with 11 hits on Saturday, giving the team five straight playoff games with 10 or more hits, setting a franchise record for a single postseason. Hernandez, Martinez, Xander Bogaerts and Alex Verdugo each had two hits for the Red Sox in Game 2.

Despite losing Game 1 on Friday night, the Red Sox took care of business in Houston and stole homefield advantage with their Game 2 victory. The ALCS now shifts to Boston for the next three games, with Game 3 at Fenway Park on Monday night.

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