October 18-ALCS GAME 3
The series shifts back to Boston for the next three games. Rodriguez pitches for the Sox against Urquidy. With a runner at first and one out in the bottom of the second, Martinez doubles off the Monster in left-center to put two runners in scoring position. A walk loads the bases for Vázquez, who singles into right to get the scoring started at 1-0 Sox. Martinez scores on a fielding error to make it 2-0 moments before Kyle Schwarber busts it open with another (yes, another) grand slam to right as the Sox whip the crowd into a frenzy and make it 6-0. There’s still just one out in the second. Fox Sports says the Boston Red Sox are the first team in postseason history with three grand slams in the same series. For reference, the origins of professional baseball date back to roughly 1876. Also, he joins Johnny Damon as the only other leadoff hitter with a grand slam in a League Championship Series. He also gave the Sox a 6-0 lead in the second inning in Game Seven. The Sox bat around in the inning. They put two on with two out later in the frame and end Urquidy’s night very rudely. A wild pitch moves the runners into scoring position before a fly out ends the inning. Renfroe steals second with one out in the bottom of the third, quickly moving to third when the throw by the catcher goes into center. It’s the second error in two innings for the Astros. He scores on a bloop single to left by Vázquez to make it 7-0. Arroyo goes deep to the Monster to make it 9-0 as the carnage continues! According to the broadcast, in the first three innings of the series Boston has amassed 20 runs, 19 hits, and five home runs. On the other hand, Houston has gotten all of one run.
The Astros work to strike back in the top of the fourth, putting runners at the corners with one out. With two out, Tucker gets his Astros on the board at 9-3 with a homer to right in what seems oddly similar to Game 2. The Sox put two on with one out in the bottom of the inning but strand them. Hernández, meanwhile, joins an exclusive club of men. He has seventeen hits and five homers in a six-game span. All of the other men who have done it are in Cooperstown. Ty Cobb had 18 hits and five homers in 1925. Lou Gehrig had 17 hits and five homers in 1930. Jimmie Foxx had 17 hits and six homers in 1933, and Kirby Puckett had 18 hits and five homers in 1986. Is that a sign of things to come for Kiké? By pitching through the sixth, E-Rod has now pitched longer in this game than all of the Astros’ starters in this series put together. Siri makes a sliding catch in center to rob Verdugo of a hit and register the second out of the sixth, after which there is a pitching change. Right after that, Martinez hits a Monster shot with a runner at first to make it 11-3. The Sox score for the first time since the third. As if this win needed to be any more convincing, Rafael Devers hits a one-out Monster shot in the eighth to make it 12-3. They tie the record of the most homers through the first eight games: 20 homers through the first eight games of the playoffs. The only other team to do that was the 2004 Houston Astros. Alex Cora turns 46 today, and his birthday presents are a 12-3 victory and a 2-1 series lead.