Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

Andrew Benintendi homered off relief pitcher Justin Verlander and the players went wild

With one out in the bottom of the fifth of Monday's ALDS Game 4 presented by Doosan, an unexpected player came running out from the bullpen: Justin Verlander. 
That's right, Verlander -- who has 385 regular-season starts to his name with nary a relief appearance -- was being called from the 'pen to try and hold the Astros' 2-1 lead.
With a runner on first, Andrew Benintendi stepped to the plate. The numbers weren't in his favor, having gone just 1-for-10 against Verlander in his career with only a triple to his name. That didn't bother him. On Verlander's 2-2 slider, the Red Sox outfielder hammered the ball into the right-field seats to give Boston a 3-2 lead. 
Verlander couldn't believe it. He followed House of Pain's advice and jumped around in desperate hope that the ball would stay in play. 

The fans were also jumping, but, you know, for a different reason: 

Benintendi watched it go and then opted not for the giant bat flip, but for a stylish end-over-ender: 

Rafael Devers was all smiles in the dugout: 

And Dustin Pedroia lumbered out of the dugout to presumably shout "Laser show! Laser show! YEAH! That's a laser show!" 

Verlander settled down after that, lasting 2 2/3 innings and not surrendering any more runs. That allowed the Astros to come back from Benintendi's dinger to clinch the series with a 5-4 final score.