Big game: Boston 2 slams lead 9-5 to ALCS victory over Astros

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HOUSTON (AP) – JD Martinez and Rafael Devers helped the Red Sox have a good old time in Houston.

Boston became the first team to win two Grand Slams in a playoff game, with Martinez and Devers connecting in the first two innings of a 9-5 victory over the Astros on Saturday, which tied their streak of AL championship one match each.

Game 3 will take place Monday night in Boston. This is the first of three straight home games for the Red Sox, returning to the playoffs for the first time since winning the 2018 World Series after beating Houston in the ALCS.

Martinez went 4-0 with his shot in opposite field off rookie Luis García with two strikeouts in the first. It was the first career playoff slam for the four-time All-Star, who started his career with the Astros.

“This situation, the pressure is on him, it’s not for me to get out of it,” Martinez said. “This is the first round. It has loaded bases. I try to tell myself, I try to stay relaxed and just looking for a land so that I can put a barrel in it.

García came out with a discomfort in his right knee after stepping the first batter of the second inning. Jake Odorizzi took over, and soon after a 13-minute delay as the right-hander warmed up on the pitch, Tilt connected with a for the slam n ° 2.

“JD’s swing was huge to get us on the board early and then Raffy, the same, another grandma,” said hot teammate Kiké Hernández. “Has this happened before?”

He now has.

Hernández, who Boston manager Alex Cora called “en fuego” on Friday night after a two-home run in Game 1, was on fire on Saturday. He had two hits, highlighted by a solo homer in the fourth round.

Hernández has been the hottest hitter of this playoffs, leading all players with 16 hits, five homers and four doubles. His nine extra-base hits are also the most important of this playoffs, and tied a Red Sox playoff record with Mike Lowell (2007), Kevin Youkilis (2007) and David Ortiz (2004 and 2007). His five home runs are also tied for most in team history with Ortiz (2004, 2013) and Todd Walker (2003).

Rafael Devers of the Boston Red Sox hits a Grand Slam home run against the Houston Astros in the second inning of Game 2 of the American League Baseball Championship Series on Saturday, October 16, 2021 in Houston.

“The importance of the game allows me to stay focused and stay locked in,” Hernández said.

Red Sox starter Nathan Eovaldi allowed five hits and three runs in 5 1/3 innings.

The Astros earned a 5-4 win in Game 1 of the series as they rallied around Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa’s homers before falling into the huge hole early in it.

“It’s a tough team,” Cora said. “It’s never comfortable with them because they’re a long way from coming back to the game.”

The Red Sox were leading 9-0 when Houston entered the board with an RBI brace from Kyle Tucker with two strikeouts in the fourth. The Astros reduced the lead to 9-3 when Yuli Gurriel called with a right fielder that scored two more.

Gurriel and Jason Castro added solo homers in the ninth against Darwinzon Hernandez before Ryan Brasier won the final.

“In the end it was a bit too close for comfort, but we got it right,” said Hernández.

Manager Dusty Baker doesn’t know how long García will be out, but he said he dealt with the issue “intermittently” but hadn’t told anyone about it.

“He didn’t mind enough not to pitch,” said Baker. “We will make a decision in a few days.

García’s injury is another big blow for a Houston team trying to reach the World Series for the second time in three years. The Astros are already in shock after an injury to staff ace Lance McCullers Jr. that kept him out of this series.

They won the championship in 2017, a crown marred by the team’s sign theft scandal.

When McCullers came out, Baker said the team would only have to “hit more” to absorb the loss. But now that the rotation is still depleted, it will be an even bigger task for this powerful team to overtake a Boston team whose offense has overtaken everyone in the playoffs.

So what is he asking of his offense now?

“Do more,” he said with a chuckle, shaking his head. “You don’t have a lot of choice, so we just have to do more. That’s all.”

Odorizzi was ruled out of the Division Series roster after a disappointing first season in Houston before securing a berth in this round after McCullers’ injury. He allowed seven hits and four runs in four innings on Saturday in a performance that is certainly not good news for a team that is short of starters.

HIGH RESISTANT

Houston’s top two hitters, Altuve and Michael Brantley, are a 2-for-17 overall in the series with one hit each, including Altuve’s home run in Game 1.

WARM UP

Odorizzi was caught off guard when pushed into the game and didn’t even stretch when called to the mound.

“I’m sure it’s been forever for all of you, but for me it was about the fastest I can warm up,” he said. “It usually takes me over 30 minutes. “

Cora was asked if the long delay had an impact on her team’s focus.

“It didn’t really matter if it was an hour late or whatever,” Cora said. “We were locked up. ”

FOLLOWING

There is a day off Sunday before Houston’s José Urquidy makes his first playoff start in Game 3 on Monday. The Red Sox have yet to name their starter but are expected to have starters Nick Pivetta and Eduardo Rodriguez available after neither was needed in the first two games.

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More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports.

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