Although he was just a triple away from the cycle, Carl Crawford was pulled early from Wednesday’s rout of the Indians. As if to make up for it, he tripled twice today as part of a second straight four-hit game as the Red Sox beat the Tigers 14-1 in a rain-shortened game.
It’s the first time in his career that Crawford has had back-to-back four-hit days and the eighth time he tripled twice. He homered and doubled twice on Wednesday, giving him five extra-base hits in two days, and he’s raised his average from .212 to .240.
With Crawford streaking, the Red Sox have won their last two games by a combined score of 28-3. Today they roughed up one of the AL’s best pitchers in Max Scherzer. They’re the first team since the Rangers on Aug. 10 & 12, 2008 to score 14 runs in back-to-back games.
(Incidentally, the 2008 Rangers lost the second of those games, 19-17, to the Red Sox.)
Entering Thursday’s NLCS Game 5, Dodgers outfielder Enrique Hernandez had never hit a home run nor even driven in a run in the playoffs in his four-year career. He had homered twice in a regular season game just twice and his career-high for RBI in a game was four.
Hernandez hit three home runs and knocked in seven runs to help power the Dodgers past the Cubs 11-1 to win the National League pennant and punch their ticket to the World Series. His first homer was a solo homer to center field in the second inning off of starter Jose Quintana. He blasted a grand slam to right field off of Hector Rondon in the fourth, then tacked on a two-run blast in the ninth inning off of Mike Montgomery to make it 11-1.
Hernandez is the 10th player to hit three home runs in a postseason game. Jose Altuve, of course, did it two weeks ago in Game 1 of the ALDS against the Red Sox. Before Altuve, Pablo Sandoval (2012), Albert Pujols (2011), and Adrian Beltre (2011) were the last players to accomplish the feat. As Jayson Stark points out, Hernandez joins Babe Ruth, Reggie Jackson, Adam Kennedy, and Beltre as players to hit three homers in a series clincher.
Hernandez’s seven RBI set a new National League record for a postseason game. Only four other players — Troy O’Leary, John Valentin, Mo Vaughn, and Edgar Martinez — accomplished the feat.
No one has hit three home runs and knocked in seven-plus in a game… until Hernandez. He certainly picked a good time to break out.