Win over Rays sends Red Sox to ALCS

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BOSTON – Enrique Hernandez hit a sacrifice fly in the ninth as the Boston Red Sox eliminated the Tampa Bay Rays with a 6-5 victory in Game 4 of the American League Division Series on Monday, which allowed them to win the ticket to the American League Championship. Serie.

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Christian Vazquez led off the bottom of the ninth with a single and advanced to the second on a sacrifice bunt by Christian Arroyo. Pinch-hitter Travis Shaw hit an infield single before pinch-hitter Danny Santana scored easily from third on Hernandez’s fly to left field off Rays reliever JP Feyereisen (0-1).

Boston will face the winner of the other American League Division Series between the Houston Astros and the Chicago White Sox in the American League Championship Series. The fourth game in that series is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon after the contest was postponed due to weather in Chicago on Monday. Houston leads the series 2-1.

The Red Sox return to the American League Championship Series for the first time since winning their ninth World Series title in 2018.

“About 20 people gave us a chance early on, but we believe,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. “Because of how bad it looked at times, we are still here. We are still in the dance, we are still in the tournament. We went to the ALCS “.

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Rafael Devers hit a three-run homer in the Red Sox’s five-run third inning. Alex Verdugo had an RBI double and JD Martinez added an RBI single in the inning.

Garrett Whitlock (1-0) took the win after two blank relief innings. Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez pitched more than five innings and allowed two runs and three hits with no walks and six strikeouts.

Whitlock said: “Right after we won, I took a second to step back and look at the crowd. It was so much fun soaking in everything and enjoying the moment. “

Wander Franco had a two-run shot for his second home run in as many games for Tampa Bay, which overcame a 5-0 deficit. Austin Meadows, Kevin Kiermaier and Randy Arozarena each drove in a run for the Rays.

“Even when we went down 5-0, I tried to keep telling everyone to have that calm energy. We’re going to be fine, ”Kiermaier said. “(We made) another great comeback together, something we’ve done multiple times throughout the year. But they went back there in the ninth and did what they had to do to win the game. “

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Tampa Bay’s only win in the series was a 5-0 home win in Game 1 on Thursday. The Rays won a franchise record of 100 games during the regular season to claim their second straight AL East title and fourth overall.

“There’s no question there is disappointment,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “Very proud of what was accomplished in the regular season, but we had great aspirations to dig into this. We ran into a Red Sox team that beat us. “

Rays starter Collin McHugh pitched two scoreless innings before Game 1 winner Shane McClanahan allowed all five runs in the third while recording just two outs.

Meadows ‘ground run in the fifth marked the Rays’ first run before Franco’s home run in the sixth made it 5-3. Kiermaier’s RBI double and Arozarena’s next RBI single tied for eighth.

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