Red Sox Prove ‘Hitting Is Contagious’ in Series-Tying Win

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Boston Red Sox are an imperfect crew. They made the second most fielding errors in the main leagues throughout the common season. Their pitching employees ranked, relying on the statistic, in the highest third or center of the pack. But make no mistake, they will completely crush the ball.

So once they fell behind early to the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 2 of the best-of-five American League division sequence on Friday, there was no must be involved. They can virtually all the time mash their approach out of a jam, with a shutout in Game 1 being the exception, not the rule.

“We led baseball in comeback wins this year,” heart fielder Enrique Hernandez mentioned. “We did it all during the season, so why not do it now? It wasn’t win or go home, but for us that was kind of the mentality.”

To come again and declare a 14-6 victory at Tropicana Field that evened the sequence at one recreation apiece, the Red Sox, the fifth highest scoring crew in baseball throughout the common season, blasted a crew postseason report 5 dwelling runs.

And main the way in which was Hernandez, who grew to become the primary participant to amass 4 extra-base hits in a postseason recreation since likely future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols did so for the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 2 of the 2011 National League Championship Series. Hernandez completed the night time 5 for six, with three doubles, a house run, three runs scored and three batted in.

The sequence now shifts to Boston, the place the Red Sox have been the perfect hitting crew at dwelling this season. Game three is scheduled for Sunday.

“Hitting is contagious and these guys came out raking,” Red Sox designated hitter J.D. Martinez mentioned.

The first inning on Friday was a nightmare for the Red Sox. After shortstop Xander Bogaerts and left fielder Alex Verdugo gave the Red Sox a 2-Zero lead with run-scoring singles, beginning pitcher Chris Sale imploded.

Making simply his 10th look since coming back from Tommy John surgical procedure and subsequent setbacks, Sale loaded the bases and coughed up an R.B.I. single to Yandy Diaz. Still missing his full arsenal of pitches, Sale then surrendered a grand slam to Jordan Luplow to provide the Rays a 5-2 lead.

But over the following a number of innings, the Red Sox grinded down the Rays, the defending A.L. champions who posses among the best pitching staffs in baseball.

“The hitters just didn’t stop,” Verdugo mentioned. “They were relentless.”

Solo dwelling runs by Verdugo and Bogaerts trimmed the deficit to 5-4 in the third inning. Two frames later, the Red Sox surged forward for good.

Playing in his 61st profession playoff recreation, Hernandez, a member of the 2020 World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers, clobbered a game-tying dwelling run.

The Red Sox then took an 8-5 lead on a three-run shot by Martinez, who was taking part in in his first recreation since turning his left ankle when stepping on second base in the regular-season finale on Sunday.

Before pregame batting follow, Martinez was not sure how his enhancing ankle would really feel. But after one spherical of hitting, Red Sox Manager Alex Cora mentioned Martinez informed him, “Hey jefe (boss), let’s go.”

Cora batted Martinez, the crew’s most adorned slugger, sixth in the lineup, decrease than typical simply in case Martinez’s ankle pressured him to depart the sport early. He delivered 4 hits.

“Hats off to our athletic training staff because they did miracles,” Martinez mentioned.

On the mound for the Red Sox, Tanner Houck saved the day after Sale lasted one inning. Houck surrendered only one run over 5 innings, permitting his slugging teammates to blast their approach again. It was his solely blemish over 11 innings this week.

“That was huge, absolutely huge,” Verdugo mentioned, including later, “That gave us enough time.”

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