J.D. Martinez hit a tiebreaking, three-run homer in his return to the lineup and the Boston Red Sox backed Tanner Houck’s clutch relief effort with a franchise postseason record five home runs, beating the Tampa Bay Rays 14-6 Friday night to even their AL Division Series at a game each.
Kiké Hernandez had five of Boston’s 20 hits, including a homer and three doubles, becoming Boston’s first player with four extra-base hits in a postseason game.
Rafael Devers and Alex Verdugo also scored for the Red Sox. After Chris Sale’s first-inning grand slam, Jordan Luplow was able to score, Chris Sale was pulled.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW MORE INFORMATION ON FOXNEWS.COM SPORTS COVERAGE
Hernández’s leadoff homer in the fifth off Collin McHugh tied it before Martinez went deep against Matt Wisler (0-1) four batters later.
Boston was kept alive by Houck (1-0), after Sale had scored five runs the previous inning. After allowing one run, two hits and two earned runs in five frames of play to begin the second inning, Houck (1-0) was brought out from the bullpen. Wander Franco scored his only hit with a double to end the frame.
Ji-Man Choi came in as a defense replacement for Luplow. The only hit Houck had was a single homer in the sixth. Houck struck five.
Martinez had four hits after missing Tuesday night’s wild-card victory over the New York Yankees and Game 1 of the ALDS with a sprained left ankle. He was injured stumbling over second base while heading to the outfield during last weekend’s regular-season finale at Washington.
Bogaerts, Verdugo and Hernández had solo shots to steady the staggering Red Sox, who lost the opener 5-0 Thursday night. Martinez took the lead.
Devers’ two-run homer off Michael Wacha hiked Boston’s advantage to 11-6 in the eighth. Christian Vazquez had an RBI infield single in the ninth, which Hernández followed with a two-run single. Bogaerts Verdugo, Vazquez and Verdugo each had three hits.
Since Aug. 11, when they beat Boston 20-6, the Rays had not allowed 14 runs in one game.
Verdugo stole another out in left-field, as he lean over foul territory’s short wall in the sixth inning in order to capture Nelson Cruz’s popup.
A night after Randy Arozarena became the first player in major league history to homer and steal home in a postseason game, the Rays got off to another fast start that whipped a yellow towel-waving crowd of 37,616 — up from 27,419 for Game 1 — into a frenzy.
Shane Baz, a Rays rookie pitcher, became only the second big-league player to have started a playoff game after three consecutive regular-season games. Matt Moore, who did it in Game 1 at Texas for the Rays of the 2011 ALDS was another.
Baz was used to open the series along with Game 1 winner Shane McClanahan. AL East champion Tampa Bay and Oakland were the only two teams that started rookie pitchers in their first two playoff games. Jarrod Parker was the ALDS’s first starter for Detroit, while Tommy Milone was his second.
Boston has managed to get only 2/3 innings from its two starting pitchers. Sale was pulled from the game after giving up five runs, four hits, and a run in August when he returned to Tommy John surgery. Eduardo Rodriguez had a shorter outing on Thursday.
Luplow’s grand slam was the sixth homer Sale has allowed 26 career postseason innings.
HE’S IN, HE’S OUT
Boston was replaced by Matt Barnes, a reliever for Garrett Richards who had been injured in the right-hander position. Richards will miss the AL Championship Series due to a left-hamstring strain.
Boston will play Game 3 against Nathan Eovaldi. He allowed one run and four hits over 5 1/3 innings of Boston’s wild-card win over the Yankees. He is 2-1 in his seven previous postseason appearances with a 1.63 ERA, three of which were starts.
Rays manager Kevin Cash hasn’t announced a starter for Sunday. Drew Rasmussen could be his right-hander or he might opt to use the bullpen.