Schwarber’s grand slam leads Red Sox to rout of Astros

Home run is Schwarber’s first career hit on a 3-0 count

Credit: David J. Phillip

Credit: David J. Phillip

Kyle Schwarber’s grand slam in the second inning helped carry the Boston Red Sox to a 12-3 victory against the Houston Astros on Monday at Fenway Park. The Red Sox took a 2-1 lead in the American League Championship Series.

» PHOTOS: Schwarber in the playoffs

“These are moments that you are never going to forget as a player,” Schwarber told reporters. “This is what we live for. We live to be in the postseason. When you get that first taste, that first experience, you want to keep coming. You want more. Especially in this place, where it’s just rocking the whole time and it’s rowdy, and they’re in tune to every single pitch and every run matters. It’s something that you’re not going to forget, that’s for sure.”

The Middletown High School graduate Schwarber has hit three home runs in eight postseason games this month. He’s hitting .281 (9-for-32) with six RBIs.

Schwarber’s grand slam came two days after the Red Sox hit grand slams in the first two innings in Game 2. No team had ever hit two grand slams in a postseason game.

“I definitely wasn’t thinking home run,” Schwarber said, “but I definitely was thinking, don’t be late and get it in the air. You are trying to get at least one, and not going up there thinking home run. That could turn into a pop-up or something like that, so just trying to not be late. You know a heater is coming there, and just go from there.

Schwarber’s 430-foot home run came on a 3-0 count. Prior to the at-bat, Schwarber had been 0-for-7 with 82 walks on 3-0 counts.

“I think I’m a really bad 3-0 hitter,” Schwarber said. “I really do. I don’t know if I even have a hit in my career in a 3-0 count. That might be my first one. The thing is, you know what, we have guys on the pond, let’s be aggressive here. We’re wanting to get after these guys. We want to be aggressive, but be aggressive to our pitch.”

Boston is now the first team in Major League Baseball history to hit three grand slams in a postseason series. The Red Sox hit three grand slams in the entire regular season.

Schwarber, 28, also hit a home run in the wild-card game against the New York Yankees on Oct. 5, and he hit a home run Oct. 10 in Game 3 of the Division Series against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Schwarber’s power has been on display all season. In June, he hit 16 home runs in an 18-day stretch, earning a spot on the National League All-Star team, though he couldn’t play because of a hamstring injury. He was still injured in July when the Washington Nationals traded him to the Red Sox.

In 41 games with Boston, he hit .291. For the season, hit .266 with 32 home runs and 71 RBIs.

Schwarber is chasing his second World Series championship. He hit .412 (7-for-17) in the 2016 World Series with the Chicago Cubs.

“I was lucky,” Schwarber said. “I had a great fan base in Chicago for how many years I was there, and then to be able to walk into another great fan base, you can’t take that for granted. You cannot take that for granted because you go to play games in other places and to have ... no offense, but just to not have the seats full, right, it’s a different game. Walking into a place where the fans they care about you, win or lose. They’re going to be there, and they’re going to let you know, right? Don’t take that for granted because it’s very special to have.”

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