NEW YORK -- Kyle Schwarber blasted a record-breaking third grand slam as the Boston Red Sox routed the Houston Astros 12-3 to open up a 2-1 lead in baseball's American League Championship Series on Monday.
Schwarber's 430-foot blast in the bottom of the second inning at Fenway Park made the Red Sox the first team in baseball history to hit three grand slams in a single postseason series.
It was a case of deja vu for the Astros, who saw J.D. Martinez and Rafael Devers bludgeon grand slams for Boston in game two in Houston on Saturday in a 9-5 victory.
"Offensively this is the best we've been all season -- they're locked in right now," Boston manager Alex Cora said after the win.
"Today was the closest we've been to a perfect game to be honest with you. We pitched well, played great defense, ran the bases. Now we turn the page and get ready for tomorrow."
After a scoreless first inning, the Red Sox roared into the lead in a devastating second inning burst after loading the bases.
Christian Vazquez's single allowed Alex Verdugo to score and then Christian Arroyo reached after a fielding blunder by Astros star Jose Altuve sent J.D. Martinez over home plate for a 2-0 lead.
Altuve's fumble was especially costly, potentially squandering a double-play to keep the innings alive and leave Boston with the bases loaded.
That proved too good an opportunity for Schwarber to pass up, and the 28-year-old outfielder duly pounced on the opportunity, electrifying Fenway with a mammoth shot deep into right field to leave the Sox 6-0 up.
Yimi Garcia replaced Jose Urquidy on the mound but was unable to stop the bleeding in the third inning, Vazquez driving in another single to score Hunter Renfroe for 7-0.
Arroyo then let rip with a two-run homer over Fenway's famous "Green Monster", high into left center field to put Boston 9-0 ahead.
Kyle Tucker finally got Houston on the board in the fourth inning with a three-run homer, jumping on Boston pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez's 79 mph slider to score Michael Brantley and Yordan Alvarez.
Rodriguez finished with seven strikeouts through six innings.
The Red Sox onslaught resumed in the sixth as Martinez smashed a two-run homer into left field to stretch Boston's lead to 11-3.
Devers added insult to injury with Boston's fourth homer of the night in the eighth inning to complete the scoring.
Game four in the best-of-seven series takes place in Boston on Tuesday. The winner will face either the Atlanta Braves or Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series.
© Agence France-Presse