Houck, Red Sox bats overpower Rays in dominant Game 2 performance

Jim Monaghan
Content Coordinator

On a night when Chris Sale CLEARLY didn't have it - that first inning grand slam after he'd been given an early 2-0 lead was certainly an eye-opener - it was the Red Sox bullpen and bats that delivered a stunning 14-6 beatdown of the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 2 of their American League Division Series.

Photo courtesy of USA Today

It was a little too early to call this a "must-win" situation for Boston, but at 5-2 in the second inning, and with Alex Cora already into his bullpen, you probably couldn't blame anyone if they were thinking about just moving on to Sunday's game three at Fenway.

Except no one apparently delivered that message to Tanner Houck (pictured).

Or the offense.

Houck served up a stunning five-inning relief performance allowing just one run on two hits while striking out five and not walking a single batter.

Meanwhile, Boston belted five home runs - Xander Bogaerts, Alex Verdugo, Kike Hernandez, J.D. Martinez, and Rafael Devers - as part of a relentless 20-hit attack. Hernandez led the way with five hits in his six at bats.

After dominating the Red Sox in the Game 1 shutout, the Rays found themselves up against what must have seemed like a mirror image of their team - a multi-facted, athletic team that played errorless defense and featured one shutdown arm after another coming out of the bullpen.

You can't say enough about what the relief corps did Friday night holding the Rays to just one run on one run on four hits while striking out 11 and walking just two.

Nate Eovaldi goes for Boston on Sunday with a chance for the Red Sox to take a 2-1 lead in the series.

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