Historic Start Guides Sox to Crucial Series-Tying Victory

October 16-ALCS GAME 2

Garcia pitches for Houston against Eovaldi as the Sox look to tie the series. Schwarber hits a double to right on the third pitch of the afternoon. A walk puts two on with one out, and a walk loads the bases with two out for Martinez, who snaps Boston’s 0-for-12 skid with runners on by driving a grand slam into right and making it 4-0. This was the kind of start they should have had last night. I was afraid they were going with the game plan from last night and just leave the runners out to dry. Garcia is pulled for injury reasons in the next inning. The Sox put the first two men the top of the second before a single loads the bases with one out so that Devers hits Boston’s second grand-slam in as many innings. It’s the first time a team has hit two grand slams in the same game in the playoffs. It’s 8-0! It gets even better in the fourth, when Hernández hits a one-out homer to left to make it 9-0. He now has fifteen hits in the last five games, which is the most in that span in playoff history. With a runner at first and one out, Verdugo hits a ground-rule double to right-center to put two men in scoring position, but they are stranded.

Houston finally shows a sense of urgency in the bottom of the inning, putting two on with two out for Tucker, who puts his team on the board with a double to left that makes it 9-1. The two runners score on a single to right by Gurriel to make it 9-3 and make the crowd wake up a little bit. In the bottom of the sixth, the Astros put runners at the corners with two out and a stolen base puts two men in scoring position before Ottavino induces a groundout to quell the rally. Arroyo throws on the run against the grain in shallow right to get the out at first that ends the seventh. The Sox put two on with two out in the top of the eighth but come out with nothing. Bogaerts leads off the ninth with a double to the right-field corner, moving to third on a groundout before being thrown out in a double play to end the inning. Gurriel hits a one-out homer to left in the bottom of the ninth to make it 9-4. Those are the first runs since the bottom of the fourth. With two out, Castro hits a homer to center to make it 9-5. So far there have been nine homers, the most in ALCS history. The old record was eight in 1970. The 9-5 Boston win ties the series at 1-1 and ensures that the series will go at least five games.