Red Sox march on with walk-off win but Dodgers lose

Sports | 13 Oct 2021

Kike Hernandez delivered Boston's second walk-off win in a row, driving home pinch-runner Danny Santana with a sacrifice fly in the ninth inning to send the Red Sox to the American League Championship Series with a 6-5 win over the Tampa Bay Rays.

After winning Game Three with a two-run, game-ending homer by Christian Vasquez, Boston wrapped up the best-of-five division series with their first back-to-back walk-off postseason wins since their 2004 AL Championship Series against the New York Yankees.

Rafael Devers had a three-run home run off rookie Shane McClanahan to ignite a five-run third inning that put Boston in front 5-0. Tampa Bay battled back and tied it in the eighth.

Boston, who beat the Yankees in the wildcard game, will await the winner of the other division series matchup between the Houston Astros and Chicago White Sox.

"Since day one, you guys believed in this group," manager Alex Cora told his players. "Not too many people believed outside this clubhouse, but here we are ... On to the next one!''

Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez allowed two runs and three hits with six strikeouts over five innings. It was redemption after he lasted just 1 2/3 innings and gave up two runs in Boston's 5-1 loss in the series opener.

Rays starter Collin McHugh pitched two scoreless innings, allowing one hit, before handing the ball off to McClanahan. But the Red Sox scored five runs off McClanahan, who was pitching on three days' rest after pitching five scoreless innings in Game One.

Elsewhere, the Los Angeles Dodgers slumped to a 1-0 loss against the San Francisco Giants at home, pushing the World Series champions to the brink of elimination.

Evan Longoria's home run in the fifth inning off Dodgers ace Max Scherzer gave the Giants a 2-1 lead in their National League division series.

And Joc Pederson blasted a three-run homer as the Atlanta Braves beat the Milwaukee Brewers 3-0 for a 2-1 lead in the other NL division series.

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