HomeRaphael Devers cured his injury, volleying the Red Sox’s run at home in Game Two

Raphael Devers cured his injury, volleying the Red Sox’s run at home in Game Two

red socks

JD Martinez and Devers both won Grand Slams, and Kiké Hernández had another run at home.

JD Martinez celebrates after winning his first Grand Slam in Game Two. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

The Red Sox didn’t take long to put a ton of kicks on the board in their 9-5 victory over the Astros in Game 2 of the ALCS on Saturday.

JD Martinez hit the Grand Slam in the first half, and in the second, Rafael Devers took his Grand Slam on his own to put the Red Sox ahead with an 8-0 lead.

Before the second game, Kyle Schwarber told the team that they had to hit like Kiki Hernandez, who hit twice at home in the first game. Martinez and Devers helped pass that test early Saturday.

“They did a great job,” Hernandez told Fox Sports after the match. “JD’s swing was obviously huge to get us to the board early — we went 4-0. Then Ravi, same, another grandmother. Has this ever happened before? Two grandmothers in two rounds in a post-season game?”

This has never happened before. As a matter of fact, no team had scored two Grand Slam titles in a post-season game before the Red Sox did on Saturday.

The opportunity that led to the first Grand Slam was created mostly by superstar Luis Garcia. He gave up a Schwarber brace to lead the match but marched with Devers and Alex Verdugo later in the half. With Garcia lacking leadership, Martinez realized he was in a good position. On the second pitch of the bat, he grabbed a 93-mph fast ball to drive it out onto another home field.

“He was in trouble,” Martinez told NESN. “I put that pressure on him, not really on me. I just wanted to lift the ball, over the board, and try to swing it nicely—try hitting a low-line drive to the right side of the field. Luckily, I was able to get enough of it to take it out.”

Garcia continued to struggle in the second, walking into the front hitter. His day there ended as the Astros pulled him out of the match due to injury. Jake Odorizzi, who wasn’t heating up, was called into the game and warmed up for about 15 minutes on the field before entering the match.

Singles from Arroyo and Hernández uploaded the bases again, this time with Devers. On the third court of batting, Devers earned an inside breaker from Odorizzi as he was able to ropes along the right field line, making the ball wrap around the wrong pole for another Grand Slam.

“I was just looking for my show,” Devers told NESN via his translator. “He threw it a little inside, the way I like it. I was able to damage it. It’s really about making adjustments and I was expecting something like that.”

Devers added that he was “just trying to be positive and do what I can” during his trip with the base load.

“Knowing the kind of team we have, as if I hadn’t gotten the job done clearly, I know Bogie (Xander Bogarts) could have gotten it done,” Devers said. “This is just a complete team effort. I saw what JD did in the first half. I saw what Kiké did also to add him to the lead. It is a team effort and we all do the little things in order to win.”

As Devers hinted, Hernandez continued his hot streak in the playoffs on Saturday. He hit a solo home run in the fourth inning to give the Red Sox a 9-0 lead, their fifth home in their last five games. He hit .500 during the postseason, which Hernandez credits for the size of his hot streak.

“I think I’m doing well,” Hernandez said. “The importance of the game is to allow me to focus and stay locked up and not think too much about it. I am happy to be able to make good rackets to get a base or push myself to help us win and get to that position.”

According to Martinez, Hernandez’s achievement of either first or second place in the starting lineup had a negative impact on the Red Sox’s lineup.

“It’s unrealistic. He comes in early in the game, he’s a top-tier player – he gets up there and doing that puts the bowler in defence. It’s like getting a direct hit in the face – bam – right away. It’s really nice to get to the plate in the first half and have a chance to score every time. You have guys like that constantly at the top of the rankings – and he’s leading the baseball game. The lights have been turned off.”

Devers, who had been agonizing his right forearm in recent weeks, had a scare in the eighth inning which prompted the Red Sox coaching staff to check him out. He said he was “fine”.

“We’re all grinding right now and that’s just part of it,” Devers said. “It’s just two more games, that’s how I see if we can handle this team and with the World Championships as well. We’re all fighting and we’re all dealing with something so I’m just trying to be available.”

With Saturday’s win, the ALCS is now tied 1-1. The Red Sox got the split they wanted in Houston and they came home to three games with an advantage on their home ground.

Devers said of the team’s mentality after losing the first game: “We just felt confident, we knew what kind of team we had and knew we had what it took to split. Luckily, we were able to get that. We came in with a different mentality tonight. Now we’re going home to play three games. Others and see what we can do there.”