Christian Vazquez hit a two-run homer in the thirteenth inning, and the Red Sox walked off with a 6-4 win over the Rays on Sunday evening in Boston. The Red Sox now have a 2-1 lead over the Rays in the best of five series, and will try to eliminate the Rays from the 2021 postseason on Monday night.
The Rays took an early lead thanks to a two-run home run from Austin Meadows in the top of the first inning. The Red Sox answered with a solo shot from Kyle Schwarber in the bottom of the first, then took the lead in the third inning. Enrique Hernandez had a two-run single, followed by a RBI single from Rafael Devers to make it 3-2 Boston. Enrique Hernandez later homered in the fifth inning to take a 4-2 lead.
The Rays were unable to answer until the eighth inning, and were finally able to do so when Wander Franco hit a solo homer to pull within 4-3. After that Austin Meadows doubled with still no one out. Though Nelson Cruz grounded out, and Yandy Diaz struck out, Randy Arozerena came up with two outs and came through with a RBI double to tie the game 4-4.
From there the tension would begin to build, as neither team scored in the ninth to force extra innings. Neither team was able to get anything going until the thirteenth inning. There was drama in the top of the thirteenth - after Yandy Diaz coming through with a one-out single, Randy Arozerena flew out for the second out, then Kevin Kiermaier hit a ball to deep right field that at first thought could have been a home run. However, the ball bounced off the wall, hit Hunter Renfroe and went back out of play - for a ground rule double that forced Yandy Diaz to stay at third base. Mike Zunino then struck out and the inniing was over.
The Red Sox took advantage of the momentum swing in the bottom of the inning. After Hunter Renfroe walked, Vazques hit the two-run bomb that has Boston one win away from the ALCS.
The Rays now look to avoid elimination in game four of the series at Fenway Park on Monday night. First pitch is scheduled for 7:07 PM - pregame coverage begins with Jay Recher and the Inside Pitch at 6:00 PM on 95.3 WDAE & AM 620.
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