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20-run A.L.D.S. game 2 slugfest goes to the Red Sox

Joe Hamilton

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Thirty-seven thousand fans packed the Trop Friday night, the most since 2016. With the energy from game 1 still bouncing around the stadium, both pitchers were tight. Rays starter Shane Baz gave up 2 in the first, and only 2 thanks to a bases loaded double play to get the team off the field. The Rays offense came right back in the bottom of the 1st. Wander Franco, Nelson Cruz and Yandy Diaz reached base and were swept home by a massive Jordan Luplow grand slam.

There ended the offensive action for the Rays. Tanner Houck entered the game in the second and continued his mastery from the regular season. He retired the first 11 batters, which made 30 consecutive going back to the regular season. Houck explained his stepping up in such a big game: “I live for those moments where you’re in a different stadium, people yelling at you, all that stuff. I love that environment, and I love going out there and competing with my brothers.”

The Red Sox started playing home run derby in the 4th when Xander Bogaerts and Alex Verdugo went back-to-back yard off two different Rays pitchers. Following suit in the 5th, Enrique Hernandez hit a solo shot to draw the Sox even at 5-5 and J.D. Martinez put the them ahead for good with a towering 412 foot three-run homer later in the inning.

Fan-favorite Ji-Man Choi came off the bench and gave the fans one more reason to cheer with a solo homerun in the 6th.

The Red Sox finished the game strong scoring in the 7th, 8th and 9th innings to win with a convincing 14-6 final score.

The teams will meet in Fenway Park on Sunday with the series tied 1-1.

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