HOUSTON -- J.D. Martinez and Rafael Devers made it a great time for the Red Sox in Houston.
Boston was the first team to hit two grand slams during a postseason match. Martinez and Devers connected in the first two innings in a 9-5 victory over the Astros that tied their AL Championship Series at one.
Martinez scored 4-0 when he hit an opposite-field shot against Luis Garcia, a rookie with the Astros. Garcia struck with two outs in his first. The four-time All-Star made it his first playoff slam in his career, having started his career with the Astros.
After walking the first batter in the second inning, Garcia was left with right knee discomfort. Jake Odorizzi was called to the plate and Devers scored with one out, after a delay of 13 minutes while Odorizzi warmed up. 2.
Red-hot teammate Kike Hernandez stated that J.D.'s swing was enormous to get us on board early and Raffy the same thing. "Has this ever happened before?"
It is now.
Game 3 will be played in Boston on Monday night. This is the Red Sox's first of three home games, and they are back in the playoffs after winning the 2018 World Series.
After his two-run performance in Game 1 on Friday, Alex Cora, Boston manager, referred to Hernandez as "en fuego", and he was still firing Saturday. He had two hits, including a solo homer during the fourth inning.
Hernandez was the postseason's most popular hitter. He led all players with 16 hits and five homers, as well as four doubles. His nine extra-base hits, which are the most in this playoffs, tie a Red Sox postseason records with Mike Lowell (2007) Kevin Youkilis (2006) and David Ortiz (2004) & 2007.
Hernandez stated, "The importance and value of the game allows me to stay focused on the game and stay locked in."
The Astros won the series opener 5-4. They rallied behind Carlos Correa and Jose Altuve to win, before getting into a huge hole in the second.
Houston scored an RBI double by Kyle Tucker in the fourth to bring the Red Sox within 9 runs. The Astros cut their lead to 9-3 after Yuli Gurriel scored two runs with a single to right field.
Jason Castro and Gurriel added solo homers to the ninth against Darwinzon Hernandez, before Ryan Brasier took the final out.
Hernandez stated, "At the final, it was a bit too close for comfort but we got it done."
Garcia's injury is yet another setback for a Houston team that hopes to reach the World Series for the third time in three years. After Lance McCullers Jr.'s injury, the Astros are already in deep trouble.
They won the 2017 championship despite being contaminated by their sign-stealing scandal.
Dusty Baker, the manager of McCullers, said that the team would have to "hit more" in order to absorb the loss. This lineup is now even more vulnerable than ever as they try to outrun a Boston team whose offense has surpassed all others this postseason.
After a disappointing season in Houston, Odorizzi was removed from the Division Series roster. He had been able to get a spot in the next round due to McCullers' injury. In four innings, he allowed seven runs and four hits in the loss. This is not good news for a team with a shortage of starters.
TOUGH UP TOP
Altuve and Michael Brantley are the Houston's top hitters, going 2 for 17 with a hit each.
The day off Sunday is before Jose Urquidy, Houston's first postseason starter, makes his debut in Game 3 on Monday. The Red Sox are yet to name their starter.