After smoking the Boston Red Sox 13-4 in Fenway Park on Tuesday night, Astro’s manager Dusty Baker said, "Just some days you're swinging it.” That might be the baseball understatement of the year as the Astros went yard five times in the second inning alone, jumping out to a 9-1 canyon of a lead over the Sox that Boston would never close the gap on. Baker continued with another obvious point, "It was our day today.”
After a one-two-three inning in the first, Red Sox pitcher Nathan Eovaldi came back to the mound hoping to repeat his first inning success. But unfortunately for Eovaldi, who became only the third pitcher ever to allow a five-homer inning, the Astros had his number, and they were dialed in.
“I feel every time I've faced the Astros, they came out swinging, and tried to jump on the fastball," Eovaldi said. "I was able to locate it in the first, had a quick first inning. Tried to do the same thing the second inning, and they didn't miss."
Houston got their five second inning dingers off the bats of Yuli Gurriel, Michael Brantley, Jeremy Pena, Kyle Tucker (two in the game), and Yordan Alvarez. Alvarez has launched twelve homers on the season, good enough for second in the majors behind Yankees’ slugger Aaron Judge (14). Pena’s long-ball soared 411 feet and came off the bat at a blistering 110.5 mph.
The Astros, who lead the AL West at 24-13, weren’t done after their second inning outburst though as Tucker put the icing on the cake with a grand slam in the seventh inning, his second homer of the night. That grand slam added onto the Astros’ solo homer, two-run shot, and three-run homer from earlier in the game to give Houston a “home run cycle.” Tuesday night’s game saw Houston crack 15 hits, tied for their season high, and the AL West leaders are looking as strong as ever halfway to the All-Star break.
It’s been a good season offensively for Houston, who has four players with seven home runs or more (Alvarez, Pena, Altuve, Tucker), but Tuesday’s frenzy at Fenway was still somewhat surprising to their manager. "I don't think I've ever seen that before,” said Baker. “I've had some good teams, played on some good teams. But ... that was a first right there." The Astros, who are coming off a loss in the 2021 World Series, are showing no signs of a runner-up slump and are hard charging towards yet another playoff run. Houston takes the diamond once more against the Red Sox again on Wednesday night at 6:10 p.m. EST inside Boston’s historic Fenway Park.