HOUSTON — The Boston Red Sox evened the ALCS in grand fashion Saturday in Houston.
J.D. Martinez and Rafael Devers hit grand slams in back-to-back innings to start the game and the Red Sox beat the Astros, 9-5, in Game 2 at Minute Maid Park. Boston became the first team ever to hit two grand slams in a postseason game and drew the series to 1-1 after a hard-fought loss in Game 1.
One day after struggling to take advantage of offensive opportunities, the Red Sox didn’t take long to capitalize against Houston starter Luis Garcia. Kyle Schwarber led off the game with a double, then Garcia walked two batters to load the bases for Martinez with two outs. Martinez gave Boston a 4-0 lead with a 106 mph, 363-foot opposite field shot — marking the club’s first postseason grand slam since Jackie Bradley Jr. hit one in Game 3 of the 2018 ALCS exactly three years ago.
Garcia issued a leadoff walk in the second, then left the game with right knee discomfort as Jake Odorizzi — after a 14-minute delay to warm up — entered the game. Singles by Christian Arroyo and Kiké Hernández set the table for Devers, who doubled the lead to 8-0 with a 100.9 mph, 357-foot blast that sneaked inside the right-field foul pole and punctuated it with a bat flip.
Hernández, who homered twice in Boston’s Game 1 loss, added a solo shot in the fourth to make it 9-0.
Nathan Eovaldi, making his third postseason start, didn’t face much resistance until the fourth inning, when Houston plated three runs (on RBI hits from Kyle Tucker and Yuli Gurriel).
Eovaldi lasted 5⅓ innings in his hometown, allowing three runs on five hits while recording three strikeouts. Adam Ottavino worked around a Tucker single to record the last two outs of the sixth; Garrett Whitlock needed 33 pitches to retire six of seven batters he faced in the seventh and eighth.
Darwinzon Hernandez — making his postseason debut — let things get a little hairy for the Sox in the ninth, as he allowed solo homers to Gurriel and Jason Castro that made it a 9-5 game. Ryan Brasier then entered and got Jose Altuve to fly out and end things.
Four Red Sox — Hernández, Bogaerts, Verdugo and Martinez — had two hits in the victory.
Historic outburstBoston’s 9-run, 11-hit performance included some historic feats, including:
Martinez has 28 RBIs in his first 26 postseason games, which is good for second all-time. First is Lou Gehrig with 32.
Devers’ 24th career postseason RBI tied the Astros’ Carlos Correa for the most before turning 25 years old. Albert Pujols (21) and Andruw Jones (20) are next on the list.
Hernández’ fifth postseason homer tied the mark for most by a Red Sox player in a single postseason. The previous three instances came in 2003 (Todd Walker), 2004 (David Ortiz) and 2013 (Ortiz).
Boston hit two grand slams in a game for the first time since May 22, 2008, when J.D. Drew and Mike Lowell each launched one against the Royals. Only one other time (Aug. 7, 1984) had the Sox hit grand slams in the first and second innings of a game, with Bill Buckner and Tony Armas doing it against the Tigers.