Kike Hernandez scored Boston’s second consecutive walk-off win. Danny Santana was pinch-runner with the sacrifice fly in the ninth. The Red Sox advanced to the AL Championship Series with a win of 6-5 over the Tampa Bay Rays.
Boston won Game 3 of the best-of-five AL Division Series with Christian Vazquez hitting a two-run homer in 13th. Boston then took Game 4 to win its first consecutive set of walk-off postseason victories since 2004, ALCS Games 4 & 5.
Rafael Devers hit a three-run homer off Shane McClanahan, a rookie. This ignited a third inning of five runs that saw Boston lead 5-0. Tampa Bay came back to tie it in the eighth.
The winner of the ALDS matchup between Chicago White Sox and Houston Astros will be the wild-card Red Sox. Houston leads 2-1 heading into Game 4 in Chicago, a makeup of Monday’s rainout.
Alex Cora, manager of the group, told his players that they believed in it since day one. This was before he started a celebratory party at the clubhouse. “Not too many people believed beyond this frigging clubhouse but here we are: ALCS!” “On to the next!”
Boston is now 15-3 in postseason potential games. They have also won eight of the last eight. The Rays’ season is over. They had been hoping to make back-to-back trips in the World Series, having won 100 games during regular season.
Kevin Cash, Tampa Bay manager, stated that “there’s no doubt there is disappointment.” We had high hopes to be able to do this. We met a Red Sox team who beat us. They scored the big hits.
Vazquez opened the ninth with a single through left field. Christian Arroyo then moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt. Travis Shaw hit a bouncing groundball to third, which went for an infield double when YandyDiaz threw his difficult throw to Ji-Man Choi. Santana was able to take Vazquez to third base and Santana took his place.
Santana was scored by Hernandez, who was 9-20 in the series.
Hernandez stated, “All I have to do is bring in run from third.” “Having Danny at third place instead of Vazqy helped me a lot.”
Rays postseason star Randy Arozarena struck out a tie-breaking single in the eighth inning of Ryan Brasier’s game. He advanced to second on the throw. Garrett Whitlock relieved, and was able to get through the eighth without any further damage. He then pitched a scoreless ninth to win the game.
Eduardo Rodriguez, Red Sox’s starter, allowed two runs and three hits while striking out six batters in five innings. After a disappointing 1 1/3 innings, he gave up two runs and allowed three hits in Boston’s 5-1 defeat in Game 1.
Devers had three hits in his final game. Wander Franco hit a two-run homer to help the Rays.
The game was tied at 5 in eighth. Alex Verdugo grounded out to shortstop Franco. Franco threw it into the Red Sox dugout wildly, and Verdugo advanced to second. Hunter Renfroe flew to center with one out. Verdugo attempted to tag him but Kevin Kiermaier threw him out at third.
After three innings, the Red Sox led 5-0 but Tampa pulled within 5-3 thanks to Austin Meadows’ RBI single and Franco’s two-run homer off Tanner Houck in the fifth.
Josh Taylor, a Boston pitcher, pitched a scoreless seventh innings and gave it to Braiser.
Braiser immediately gave up the back-to-back doubles to Mike Zunino, Kiermaier and made it 5-4. Arozarena then added a single to tie the game.
Whitlock was elected to replace Braiser. He was able get out of the jam and Franco flew out. Nelson Cruz and Brandon Lowe also ground out.
After being solid in the mound during 2021 and in Game 1, Tampa Bay’s pitching struggles continued over the final three games with the Red Sox outscoring them 26-15.
Collin McHugh, right-hander, was the opener Monday. He pitched two scoreless innings and allowed one hit before Shane McClanahan took the ball.
After pitching five scoreless innings, the rookie pitched on three days’ rest.
Boston was there for him this time.
McClanahan immediately gave up one Vazquez, and walked Kyle Schwarber. After Hernandez flew out for the second out, McClanahan seemed to be on his way to getting out.
Devers leapt over a first pitch fastball to launch a line drive into the first rows of the center field bleachers, for a homerun.
Xander Bogaerts was next up and singled. Verdugo scored Bogaerts with a double from the Green Monster. J.D. Martinez continued the streak with a single Monster off that brought Verdugo in, making it 5-0.
Cash stated, “Down 5-0 nothing was in the third inning. That was pretty devastating.” “We tried to claw back, but we lost tonight.”
McClanahan was then replaced by J.T. Chargois.
After a Renfroe double, Chargois got the Rays out of the inning and struck out Vazquez.
McClanahan’s night-end line-up: Five hits, five runs and a walk, with a home run.
Red Sox: Red Sox manager Alex Cora stated that reliever HanselRobles, who surrendered a single home run to Franco in Game 3 and a game-tying double at Game 3, was still under the weather heading into Monday’s game.
STATS reports that Rodriguez is the second postseason pitcher to pitch less than two innings. He then pitches five innings or more with three or fewer runs in his next outing. Don Larsen was the other, and he lasted just 1 1/3 innings in Game 2 1956 World Series. He then pitched five or more innings with three or fewer hits in his next start.
Rodriguez was made to work by Meadows in the first inning. The at-bat lasted 17 pitch and featured 10 foul balls. Rodriguez then struck Rodriguez out with a slider.
The 17-pitch pitch battle is the longest postseason plate appearance by pitches since 1988, when data on pitch counts began to be tracked.
Boston will travel to the ALCS opener on Friday night.