Kike Hernandez gave Boston a second straight walk-off win, scoring with a sacrificial fly off pinch-runner Danny Santana in the ninth inning, and led the Red Sox to a 6-5 win over the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL Championship Series on Monday night. sent in.
After winning Game 3 of their best-of-five AL Division Series on Sunday with a two-run homer from Christian Vazquez in the 13th, Boston scored their first run of back-to-back walk-off postseason victories since the 2004 ALCS games. Took game 4 for the set. 4 and 5, both courtesy of David Ortiz against the Yankees.
Rafael Devers ignited the third innings of a five-run home run off rookie Shane McClanahan in a three-run home innings that took Boston 5-0. Tampa Bay fought back and tied it in eighth place.
The wild-card Red Sox will await the winner of another ALDS matchup between the Houston Astros and the Chicago White Sox. Houston leads 2-1 in Game 4 in Chicago on Tuesday, a makeup of Monday’s rain.
“From day one, you guys believed in this group,” manager Alex Cora told his players before starting a bubbly clubhouse celebration.
He said that his faith is what drives him to this point.
“We always said we had a good baseball team that had some holes, and we still have some holes, but in the end, no matter how bad it feels sometimes, we’re still here. We still dance I am,” Cora said.
Boston improved to 15–3 in potential cleaning postseason games and won each of their last eight. It brings an abrupt end to the season for the Rays, who were eyeing back-to-back trips to the World Series after winning 100 games during the regular season and rolling for the AL East title.
“There’s no doubt there is disappointment,” said Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash. “We had high aspirations to go deeper into this thing. We ran into a Red Sox team that they beat us to – no other way around it. He’s got a big hit.”
The Red Sox are the second team to win a postseason series with consecutive walk-off wins. According to STATS, the second was the Minnesota Twins in the 1991 World Series.
Vazquez led the ninth through the hole with a single in left field and was moved to second on a sacrificial bunt by Christian Arroyo. Travis Shaw hit a bouncing ball into third, which went for an infield single when Yandy Diaz bounced his difficult throw to first baseman Ji-Man Choi. Vazquez dropped to third and Santana entered to run for him.
“Old school baseball right there,” Cora said. “Fundamental baseball, and we won the ALDS playing good basic baseball.”
Hernandez, who made 9 for 20 in the series, made it to the left with a fly ball to Santana.
“All I have to do is run from third,” Hernandez said. “And having Danny in third instead of Wazkie took my mind off a bit.”
Rays postseason star Randy Arozerena ripped a single in the eighth inning of Ryan Brazier without a dismissal and moved to second on the throw. Garrett Whitlock relieved and moved up to eighth without a loss, then scored ninth for the win.
“Once the AC said you had to keep going, that was all I was focused on,” Whitlock said.
Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez allowed two runs and three hits in five innings with six strikeouts, as well as a batsman. It was redemption when he lasted just 1 2/3 innings and conceded two runs in Boston’s 5–1 defeat in Game 1.
Devers finished with three hits. Vander Franco had a two-run homer for the Rays.
With the game at 5 in the eighth, Alex Verdugo took the field to shortstop Franco, who threw the ball wildly into the Red Sox dugout, moving Verdugo to second. With an out, Hunter Renfro flew toward the center and Verdugo tried to tag in, but was thrown into third by Kevin Kirmeyer.
The Red Sox took a 5–0 lead after three innings, but Tampa fell 5–3 on an RBI single from Austin Meadows in the fifth inning, and Franco’s two-run homer in the sixth from Tanner Hawke.
Boston’s Josh Taylor scored seventh and handed it to the Brazzers.
But Brazzer quickly dropped back-to-back doubles to Mike Zunino and Kirmayer to make it 5-4. Arozrena then tied it with a single.
Brazzer is out in favor of Whitlock. He was able to break out of the jam, to take out Franco, followed by a groundout by Brandon Lowe and Nelson Cruz.
Being solid on the mound throughout 2021 and winning Game 1, Tampa Bay’s pitching struggled in the last three games, with the Red Sox defeating the Rays 26–15.
Right-hander Colin McHugh served as the opener on Monday and played two scoreless innings, allowing a hit before being handed the ball to Game 1 starter Shane McClanahan.
The rookie was pitching on three days’ rest and put up a strong performance in the series opener which he won by playing five no-scoring innings.
Boston had his number this time.
McClanahan quickly dropped a single Vazquez and Kyle Schwarber went in. He seemed to be on his way out of trouble after Hernandez was dismissed to take him out of the innings.
But Devers jumped on a first-pitch fastball and began a line drive into the first line of the center field bleachers for a home run.
Xander Bogaerts came forward and singled it. Verdugo then doubled off the Green Monster, who scored for Bogarts. JD Martinez continued it with a single from Monster that made Verdugo 5–0.
“There was nothing down 5-0 in the third inning, which was pretty devastating,” Cash said. “We’re Back In It And We’re Low Tonight”
McClanahan was then pulled in favor of JT Chargois.
After a repeat by Renfro, Chargois eventually knocked Rez out of the innings, dismissing Vazquez.
McClanahan’s row for the night: Five hits, five runs, a walk and a home run.