Red Sox erupt with 5-run third inning

October 12th, 2021

BOSTON -- Rays manager Kevin Cash brought in lefty Shane McClanahan, his expected starter for Game 5 of the American League Division Series, to start the third inning of Game 4 on Monday, and the Red Sox immediately made sure Cash’s plans backfired, scoring five two-out runs -- sparked by a three-run homer to start the scoring of Boston's eventual 6-5 walk-off victory.

The booming Boston bats tried to take away any possibility of a Game 5 when they bashed the ball around Fenway Park against McClanahan, the same pitcher who fired five shutout innings against them in a 1-0 Rays victory in Game 1. The Red Sox, up 2-1 in the series, put up the five-spot to take a 5-0 lead.

As McClanahan learned swiftly, Boston has a much different offense than the one that started this ALDS four days ago.

The Red Sox are locked in and it showed when Devers set off an eruption at Fenway by mauling a three-run homer to center with two on to start the scoring.

Christian Vázquez, fresh off his walk-off homer in the 13th inning in Game 3, greeted McClanahan by ripping a single up the middle to open the frame. Kyle Schwarber worked a one-out walk.

Up stepped Devers, who had been mostly quiet in this series while playing through a right forearm injury.

The book has been to bust Devers with high fastballs, which has forced him into uncomfortable one-armed swings. Instead, McClanahan put one right down the middle and Devers ripped the 97.7 mph offering at a projected exit velocity of 108.3 mph and a distance of 404 feet.

Boston was relentless in the aftermath of Devers’ homer. Xander Bogaerts slammed a single to left. Alex Verdugo went off the Monster for an RBI double. And J.D. Martinez roped an RBI single off the Monster.

That was all for McClanahan, who threw just 28 pitches and wasn’t sharp on just three days' rest after throwing 82 pitches in Game 1.