Kyle Schwarber hit a grand slam – Boston’s third in two games – and the Red Sox routed the Houston Astros for the second straight time, winning 12-3 on Monday night to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven AL Championship Series.
One game after JD Martinez and Rafael Devers each cleared the bases, Schwarber hit a second-inning 3-0 pitch 430 feet into the right field grandstand. Boston are the first team ever with three slams in a postseason series.
Martinez and Devers each homered again, Christian Arroyo also hit one, and Kike Hernandez had two more hits for Boston, who could advance to the World Series with victories at Fenway Park in Games 4 e 5 on Tuesday night and Wednesday. The Astros need to win at least one to send the series back to Houston.
Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez gave up five hits, including Kyle Tucker’s three-run homer, and struck out seven. He retired Carlos Correa to end the sixth and walked off the mound tapping his wrist to clap back at the Astros shortstop, who used the same gesture after a tiebreaking homer in Game 1 to signal that it was Houston’s time.
Things have changed.
The Red Sox had 11 hits in all, becoming the first team in major league history to reach double digits six straight times in a single postseason. Hernandez has 18 hits during the playoffs and is batting .500, both leading the majors.
To the delight of the Fenway fans, who targeted him with profane chants for his role in the Astros 2017 cheating scandal, Jose Altuve struggled at the plate and in the field.
A Gold Glove and AL MVP-winner, the three-time batting champion went 0 per 4 and let a ball bounce off his chest for an error with the bases loaded in the second inning. One batter later, Schwarber hit Boston’s third grand slam in 11 innings.
Altuve also waved at a throw from Martin Maldonado on Hunter Renfroe’s stolen base in the third; the error went to the catcher. The throw to third was also wild, but the Astros were saved another error when the ball missed the dugout and bounced off the padding back toward the field.