Red Sox

Rafael Devers addressed his injury, as well as the Red Sox’ home run barrage in Game 2

J.D. Martinez and Devers both hit grand slams, and Kiké Hernández hit another home run.

J.D. Martinez celebrates after hitting his first-inning grand slam in Game 2. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

It didn’t take long for the Red Sox to put a lot of runs on the board in their 9-5 win over the Astros in Game 2 of the ALCS on Saturday.

J.D. Martinez hit a grand slam in the first inning, and in the second, Rafael Devers hit a grand slam of his own to put the Red Sox up 8-0.

Prior to Game 2, Kyle Schwarber told the team that they had to hit like Kiké Hernández, who hit two home runs in Game 1. Martinez and Devers helped pass that test early on Saturday.

“They did great,” Hernández told Fox Sports after the game. “Obviously, J.D.’s swing was huge to get us on the board early — 4-0 lead. And then Raffy, same thing, another granny. Has that ever happened before? Two grannys in two innings in a postseason game?”


That hasn’t happened before. As a matter of fact, no team had hit two grand slams in a postseason game before the Red Sox did it on Saturday.

The opportunity that led to the first grand slam was mostly created by Astros starter Luis Garcia. He gave up a double to Schwarber to lead the game but walked Devers and Alex Verdugo later in the inning. With Garcia lacking command, Martinez knew he was in a good spot. On the second pitch of the at-bat, he got a 93 mph fastball to drive out for an opposite-field home run.

“He was in trouble,” Martinez told NESN. “I put that pressure on him, not on me really. I just wanted to get the ball up, over the plate, and just try to put a good swing on it – try to hit a low line drive to the right side of the field. Fortunately, I was able to get enough of it to get it out.”

Garcia continued to struggle in the second, walking the leadoff hitter. His day ended there with the Astros pulling him out of the game due to injury. Jake Odorizzi, who wasn’t warming up, was called into the game and warmed up for roughly 15 minutes on the field before he entered game action.


Singles by Arroyo and Hernández loaded the bases up again, this time with Devers up. On the third pitch of the at-bat, Devers got a cutter inside from Odorizzi that he was able to rope along the right field line, getting the ball to wrap around the foul pole for another grand slam.

“I was just looking for my pitch,” Devers told NESN, via his translator. “He threw it a little bit inside, the way that I like it. I was able to do damage on 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 the best that I can” during his at-bat with the bases loaded.

“Knowing that type of team that we have, like obviously if I didn’t get the job done, I know Bogey (Xander Bogaerts) would’ve gotten it done,” said Devers. “That’s just a total team effort. You saw what J.D. did in the first inning. You saw what Kiké did as well to add to the lead. It’s a team effort and we’re all doing the little things in order to get the win.”

As Devers alluded to, Hernández 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, which was his fifth homer in the last five games. He’s hitting .500 during the postseason, which Hernández credits the magnitude of for his hot streak.


“I guess I’m feeling good,” Hernández said. “The importance of the game is allowing me to stay focused and stay locked in and not think too much about it. I’m glad I’m able to put up good at-bats to get on-base or drive myself in to help us win and get into this position.”

Having Hernández hit as well as he has from either the No. 1 or No. 2 spots in the starting lineup has had a trickle-down affect in the Red Sox lineup, according to Martinez.

“It’s unreal. He’s a table-setter,” Martinez said. “He comes up early in the game, he’s a top-of-the-order guy – him going up there and doing that puts the pitcher right on defense. It’s like getting a knock right to the face – bam – right away. It’s really nice going up to the plate in the first inning and you have the opportunity to score every time. You have guys like that at the top of the order constantly getting -and he’s driving the baseball. He’s been lights out.”

Devers, who’s been battling an injury in his right forearm in recent weeks, had a scare in the eighth inning that caused the Red Sox training staff to check on him. He said he’s “fine.”

“We’re all grinding right now and that’s just a part of it,” Devers said. “It’s just a couple more games, that’s the way I see it if we’re able to handle business with this team and the World Series 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 that they wanted in Houston and they head home for three games with home-field advantage.

“We just felt confident,” Devers said of the team’s mentality after losing Game 1. “We know the type of team that we have and we knew we had what it takes to get the split. Thankfully, we were able to get that. We came in with a different mentality tonight. Now we’re going home to play three more games and see what we can do there.”

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