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MLB playoffs: Schwarber slams Red Sox past Astros, to 2-1 ALCS lead

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MLB playoffs: Schwarber slams Red Sox past Astros, to 2-1 ALCS lead
Boston Red Sox first baseman Kyle Schwarber (R) hits a grand slam home run as Houston Astros catcher Martin Maldonado watches in the second inning in Game 3 of the ALCS on Monday at Fenway Park in Boston. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 19 (UPI) -- Kyle Schwarber's 430-foot grand slam was one of four Boston Red Sox homers in a blowout of the Houston Astros in Game 3 of the ALCS. The 12-3 triumph gives Boston a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.

Christian Arroyo, Rafael Devers and J.D. Martinez also went deep in the victory Monday in Boston. Game 4 of the ALCS is Tuesday at Fenway Park.

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"This is what we live for," Schwarber told reporters. "We live to be in the postseason. When you get that first taste, that first experience, you want to keep coming. You want more."

Red Sox left-handed pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez allowed five hits and three runs over six innings. He issued seven strikeouts and no walks. Astros starter Jose Urquidy allowed five hits and six runs in 1 2/3 innings.

Rodriguez and Urquidy retired the game's first six hitters in order. Urquidy ran into trouble in the second inning. He struck out shortstop Xander Bogaerts to lead off the half inning, but walked outfielder Alex Verdugo in the next exchange. Martinez doubled to center field in the third at-bat of the half inning.

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Urquidy then walked right fielder Hunter Renfroe to load the bases. Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez followed with a single, which scored Verdugo. Arroyo then reached base on a fielder's choice, which scored Martinez for a 2-0 lead.

Schwarber stepped in for the seventh at-bat of the half inning. Urquidy missed the strike zone with each of his first three offerings to the Red Sox first baseman.

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Schwarber then smashed a Urquidy 3-0 fastball into the stands in right field. His third homer this postseason traveled 114 mph off his bat, according to Statcast. The grand slam gave the Red Sox a 6-0 lead.

"I definitely wasn't thinking home run," Schwarber said. "But I definitely was thinking, 'Don't be late, and get it in the air.'"

Vazquez drove in Renfroe with an RBI single in the bottom of the third. Arroyo hit relief pitcher Yimi Garcia's next pitch to left field for a 399-foot, two-run homer.

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Right fielder Kyle Tucker finally put the Astros on the scoreboard with a 413-foot, three-run homer to right field off Rodriguez in the top of the fourth. That blast made the score 9-3.

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Martinez smacked a 395-foot, two-run shot off Astros relief pitcher Phil Maton in the bottom of the sixth. Devers drove in the final run of the night with a 372-foot solo shot to left in the bottom of the eighth.

Red Sox relief pitchers Hansel Robles, Martin Perez and Hirokazu Sawamura did not allow a hit and a run over the final three innings.

Martinez went 2 for 3 with two RBIs, two runs scored and a walk for the Red Sox. Vazquez went 2 for 4 with two RBIs and two walks. Arroyo went 1 for 4 with three RBIs and two runs scored. Schwarber went 1 for 4 with four RBIs and a run scored.

Red Sox center fielder Kiké Hernandez also recorded two hits in the victory. First baseman Yuli Gurriel went 2 for 3 for the Astros.

The Red Sox host the Astros in Game 4 at 8:08 p.m. EDT Tuesday at Fenway Park. The game airs on FS1. The Los Angeles Dodgers host the Atlanta Braves in Game 3 of the NLCS at 5:08 p.m. EDT Tuesday on TBS. The Braves own a 2-0 lead in that series.

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