With the bases loaded in the bottom of the first inning, Jordan Luplow took Chris Sale deep to make it 5-2 Rays, as Tampa Bay looked as if they were on their way to a blowout win over the Red Sox.
Boston had acquired the lead first in the top half of the first, as Xander Bogaerts singled home Kyle Schwarber before Alex Verdugo plated Kiké Hernandez with a single of his own. But, Sale loaded the bases with just one out after letting up two singles and a walk — Yandy Diaz’s RBI single brought home the first run, and that led to the grand slam from Luplow.
The Sox would strike back, however, in the third. Xander Bogaerts and Alex Verdugo went back-to-back with solo shots, and in the fifth, Boston broke it open.
Hernandez socked the game-tying big fly over the left field fence, before a Rafael Devers walk and a Bogaerts single put two on for J.D. Martinez. The Sox slugger would give Boston a three-run lead, as he lifted a three-run blast 412 feet over the center field wall.
Ji-Man Choi struck a solo long ball in the sixth, but in the seventh, Christian Vazquez added on with an RBI single to make it 9-6. Devers would strike a two-run shot in the eighth, marking Boston’s fifth homer of the night, breaking the Sox’s single-postseason game home run record.
Vazquez and Hernandez both added to their nights with RBI singles (Hernandez’s was a two-run) in the ninth to make it 14-6.
Tanner Houck bales out Sale
Sale was yanked after the first, and on came Tanner Houck from the Sox bullpen. Houck would hurl four one-hit innings before Choi’s solo shot in the sixth was his first run given up.
Ryan Brasier and Hansel Robles then tossed back-to-back run-less frames.
Matt Barnes shows why he wasn’t on roster to begin with
Matt Barnes was placed on Boston’s ALDS roster today due to an issue regarding Garrett Richards’ left hamstring, after being left off.
He just barely made it through the ninth, laboring through the inning as he tossed 33 pitches, and just 16 of which were strikes. He gave up a leadoff single to Choi, before walking two of the next four batters but got out of it with Wander Franco’s game-ending forceout.
Game 3 is Sunday, at 4:07 p.m. EST with the Boston crowd in attendance for their first taste of the ALDS. Boston has Nathan Eovaldi lined up to start, while the Rays have not decided yet who will get the nod.
(Photo by Mary DeCicco/MLB Photos via Getty Images)