10/12/08 4:00 AM ET
ALCS tidbits: Game 2
Home run barrage hands unsightly lines to two starters
By Bryan Hoch / MLB.com
The pivotal Game 2: Since the best-of-seven ALCS format was adopted in 1985, the team that has won Game 2 of the ALCS has advanced to the World Series 16 times in 22 chances (73 percent), including seven of the past nine.
Hope for the Rays: Among the 16 ALCS and NLCS matchups dating back to 2000, the team that lost Game 1 has gone on to win the series seven times -- the 2006 Cardinals were the last to accomplish it, downing the Mets in seven games.
Misleading advertising: Josh Beckett's strong postseason resume does not agree with his most recent results. Beckett surrendered three home runs -- to Evan Longoria, B.J. Upton and Cliff Floyd -- for the first time in his playoff career and has now yielded five homers in his two postseason starts this year, one more than he had allowed in his previous nine playoff starts.
Dialing long distance
Finishing the job: Scott Kazmir was ahead of Jason Bay in the count, 0-2, before Bay connected on a two-run double to left field in the first inning. Kazmir then had Dustin Pedroia in a full count before serving up a home run to left that gave the Red Sox a 3-2 lead. In the regular season, Kazmir allowed a .137 average (47-for-344) with two strikes, but 10 of those hits were home runs.
Happy travels: Entering Game 2, the Red Sox owned one of the top postseason road winning streaks in baseball, having won six consecutive matchups away from Fenway Park. The Blue Jays won seven straight on the road in the 1992 World Series, '93 ALCS and '93 World Series. At various points in their history, the Yankees compiled road win streaks of eight (Oct. 6, 1926-Oct. 2, 1932) and nine (Oct. 10, 1937-Sept. 30, 1942 and Oct. 4, 1996-Oct. 4, 1997).
Slumbering lumber no more: After announcing his presence on the postseason stage with two home runs -- becoming the second player in Major League history to homer in his first two playoff at-bats -- Longoria entered play on Saturday hitless in 13 consecutive at-bats. He changed that in a hurry, homering to left off Beckett for a game-tying two-run shot, his third of the postseason, which tied a record for the second-highest total by a rookie. The record for home runs in a single postseason by a rookie is held by Miguel Cabrera, who hit four for the 2003 Marlins.
Kazmir vs. White Sox in Game 2 of ALDS
Kazmir vs. Red Sox in Game 2 of ALCS
Up, up and away: Upton hit his fourth home run of the postseason in his 24th at-bat and sixth game. It took him 59 games (212 at-bats) to reach four homers during the regular season, and he hit just three in his final 65 games (239 at-bats).
Josh and Scott's high school reunion: Beckett and Kazmir are natives of the Houston area and were first-round selections in the First-Year Player Draft coming out of high school. Beckett went No. 2 by the Marlins in 1999 out of Spring High School, behind only Tampa Bay's pick of Josh Hamilton, and Kazmir went No. 15 by the Mets in 2002 out of Cypress Falls High School. Kazmir said that he has watched Beckett since high school but the two, with a four-year age difference, never faced off as prep pitchers.
Youk extends streak: With three hits in Game 2, Kevin Youkilis recorded his fourth consecutive three-hit game in the ALCS, dating back to Game 6 against the Indians last year. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Youkilis broke his own record, as he became the only player in LCS history to post three straight three-hit games when he did it in Game 1 on Friday night. In those four games, he is 12-for-19 with six runs scored and five RBIs. In nine career ALCS games, Youkilis is batting .526 (20-for-38) with two doubles, a triple, four homers, nine RBIs and 12 runs scored.
Home run barrage: The seven home runs in Saturday's Game 2 set an ALCS record and matched the postseason record accomplished on three previous occasions. The A's and Giants combined for seven homers in Game 3 of the 1989 World Series, the Marlins and Cubs combined for seven in Game 1 of the 2003 NLCS and the Mets and Cardinals did so in Game 4 of the 2006 NLCS.
What an inning: The Red Sox's three home runs in the fifth inning tied the postseason record for the most in an inning by one team. Boston shares the record with eight other teams, including last year's Sox club, which hit three home runs in the sixth inning of Game 4 of the ALCS at Cleveland. Saturday also marked the fourth time the Red Sox have hit four home runs in a postseason game. The other three were Game 6 of the 1967 World Series, Game 4 of the 1999 AL Division Series and Game 7 of the 2004 ALCS.
Back-to-back: The back-to-back home runs hit by Youkilis and Jason Bay in the fifth inning marked the seventh time the Red Sox have accomplished that feat in the postseason.
Longoria euphoria: Longoria's two-run homer in the first inning snapped an 0-for-13 skid and was his third of the postseason, which is tied for the second-highest total by a rookie. Others to accomplish the feat were the Braves' Chipper Jones (1995) and Andruw Jones (1996), the Cardinals' Willie McGee (1982) and the Yankees' Charlie Keller (1939).
Pedroia power: Pedroia had his first career two-homer game on Saturday. It was the Red Sox's 11th two-homer game in the postseason and their second in the ALCS. (Johnny Damon hit two home runs in Game 7 of the 2004 ALCS at New York.) Pedroia also registered his third career three-hit game in the postseason.
Look out for the long ball
Out of sync: Beckett had never given up eight runs in an entire postseason series, but on Saturday night, he yielded eight runs in one game. Beckett had allowed a total of 10 runs in his previous 33 1/3 LCS innings. Beckett also had allowed just six home runs in 77 2/3 postseason innings prior to Saturday, when he gave up three in 4 1/3 innings in his shortest career postseason outing.
Rough night: Kazmir allowed three home runs for the first time in his career. Including regular-season and postseason games, Kazmir has allowed 11 home runs over his past five starts, including four against the Red Sox on Sept. 15. By contrast, Kazmir did not allow a homer this season until his seventh start of the season.
Out of character: Dan Wheeler, who allowed the Red Sox to score the tying run on a wild pitch in the eighth inning, threw just one wild pitch in 66 1/3 innings during the regular season.
Extra, extra: Saturday's Game 2 marked the 24th extra-inning contest in ALCS history and the first since Game 2 of the 2007 ALCS, an 11-inning win by the Indians over the Red Sox. Cleveland scored a record seven runs in the top of the 11th inning in that game.
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.