Boston Red Sox hit 2 grand slams in first 2 innings en route to ALCS Game 2 win

ByJoon Lee ESPN logo
Sunday, October 17, 2021

It didn't take long for the Boston Red Sox to bounce back from their loss in the American League Championship Series opener, hitting two grand slams in the first two innings of their 9-5 win over theHouston Astrosin Saturday's Game 2.

In doing so, the Red Sox became the first team in MLB history to hit two grand slams in a postseason game, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

The Red Sox started the offensive pile-on in the first inning. After a Kyle Schwarber double and back-to-back walks to Rafael Devers and Alex Verdugo, J.D. Martinez hit a home run off Houston starter Luis Garcia over the right-field fence that put Boston up 4-0.

"That situation, the pressure is on him," Martinez said. "It's not on me to come through there. It's the first inning. He has the bases loaded. I'm trying to tell myself that, trying to stay relaxed and just looking for a pitch so I can just put a barrel on it."

The Red Sox followed up in the second inning with a Kevin Plawecki walk, which preceded Garcia leaving the game due to injury.

After Houston brought in pitcher Jake Odorizzi, Red Sox second baseman Christian Arroyo singled on a ground ball to right field andKiké Hernándezsingled on a line drive to left field. Devers then smashed a line-drive homer to right field, putting Boston on top 8-0 by the end of the second inning.

"We swung the bat well," manager Alex Cora said. "We played well. That's a tough team. It's never a comfort with them because they're a swing away from getting back in the game. But yeah, it's something that we talked about today, and now we go to Fenway and it should be fun."

According to ESPN Stats & Information, only five teams have ever hit two grand slams in the first two innings of a regular-season game, including the Los Angeles Dodgers this season.

Adding to the offensive onslaught was Hernandez, who hit his fifth home run in a five-game span in the fourth inning to put Boston up 9-0. The homer followed up on the Red Sox center fielder's exceptional performance in Game 1, when he had two home runs, a double and a single.

The early lead instilled confidence in the Red Sox to tie the series up.

"To be able to get that lead in and hand the ball to Nate [Eovaldi] and Nate to do exactly what he did," Martinez said. "That was to shut them down real quick and get us back in the box was I think what changed the whole game."

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