Astros joined exclusive club with Game 1 win

Friday night's game between the Astros and Red Sox was the 1,382nd post-season contest of the Modern Era.

There have been 507 National League playoff games since 1969.

There have been 505 American League playoff games.

There have been 370 World Series games since 1903.


In only 18 has either team hit at least 2 home runs and 2 sacrifice flies, as the Astros did Friday night.

The Astros become only the third team that scored all of its run on multiple homers and multiple sacrifice flies.



It's possible that there were some earlier such games. Sacrifice flies did not become an official statistic until 1954, and from 1903, the year of the first World Series, through 1953, teams hit at least 2 homers and scored at least 4 runs in 41 Series games.

The Giants became the first team credited with 2 sacrifice flies in a 7-4 win on Oct. 2, 1954, that completed a 4-game sweep of Cleveland.

But they hit no homers in that game, nor did the Dodgers when they hit 2 sacrifice flies in a 5-3 loss to the Yankees in Game 3 of the 1956 Series.

On Oct. 2, 1958, the Braves hit 2 homers and hit 2 sacrifice flies in Game 2 against the Yankees. They also scored 6 runs on singles en route to a 13-5 victory.



From 1964 through 1989, there were 15 more games in which a team hit 2 sacrifice flies.

In only 2 did the team also hit multiple homers.

The Pirates did it in Game 3 of the 1979 National League Championship Series, as they routed the Reds, 7-1.

The Tigers did it in Game 1 of the 1987 ALCS while losing to the Twins, 8-5.

Detroit came the closest of any team so far to scoring all its runs on multiple homers and sacrifice flies. It got solo home runs from Kirk Gibson and Mike Heath, plus consecutive run-scoring flies from Dave Berman and Chet Lemon in the eighth inning.

But Heath delivered an RBI single, too, so the Tigers' homers and flies produced only 4 of their 5 runs.



Three more years passed before the Reds became the first to score exclusively via at least 2 homers and 2 flies.

They accomplished the feat on Oct. 9, 1990, in Game 4 of the NLCS, at Pittsburgh.

Paul O'Neill homered with 1 out in the top of the fourth to tie the score at 1.

Singles by Eric Davis and Hal Morris put runners on first and third, then Chris Sabo lined out to right and Davis raced home to put the Reds in front, 2-1.

The score was 2-2 when Morris led off the seventh with a single. Sabo followed with a go-ahead homer.

The Reds led, 4-3, when Morris doubled to open the ninth. He reached third on a single by Sabo, then stayed there on a groundout. After an intentional walk, Morris tallied on a fly to center by pinch hitter Luis Quinones.

Cincinnati won the series in 7 games, then swept the favored Athletics in the World Series.



No team matched the Reds' performance against the Pirates for 11 years and 1 day. On Oct. 10, 2001, the Athletics beat the Yankees by the identical 5-3 score in the opening game of the ALDS at Yankee Stadium.

Johnny Damon singled to begin the game, stole second, went to third on a grounder and trotted home on Jason Giambi's deep fly.

Terrance Long homered leading off the fourth, making the score 2-0.

Giambi homered leading off the seventh, making it 3-1.

Long homered leading off the eighth, making it 4-1.

Long's second homer knocked out reliever Sterling Hitchcock. Reliever Jay Witasick walked the first batter he faced. He got the second to hit into a forceout, then Damon singled the runner to third and Miguel Tejeda hit a fly ball to left that brought him home.



No team came close to scoring all its runs in the same fashion again until Oct. 27, 2015, when the Royals and Mets squared off in Game 1 of the World Series at Kansas City.

Alcides Escobar jump-started the Royals' offense by hitting the first pitch in the first inning for an inside-the-park home run.

The Mets rallied to take a 3-1 lead on an RBI single in the fourth, a solo homer in the fifth and a sacrifice fly in the sixth.

In the bottom of the sixth, Ben Zobrist doubled, Lorenzo Cain singled and Eric Hosmer hit a fly that scored Zobrist. Cain promptly stole second. One out later, he sprinted home on a single by Mike Moustakas.


The Mets moved in front, 4-3, with an unearned run on the in eighth. Then Alex Gordon knotted the count with a 1-out homer in the ninth.

New York left 2 on base in the 11th. Kansas City stranded 3 in the 12th.

Finally, in the 14th, Escobar was safe on a throwing error and Zobrist singled him to third. Cain was walked intentionally and Hosmer lofted a sacrifice fly for the game-winning fifth run -- the fourth that scored on a homer or fly.



There were no more 2-homer, 2-sacrifice fly games until last year, when it happened in both Wild Card games and in Game 3 of the ALDS. But the teams that did it -- the Yankees, Cardinals and Athletics -- score 10, 9 and 9 runs, respectively.

The Dodgers had a near miss just this week, on Tuesday, in Game 4 of the NLDS, at home against San Francisco.

The first run in their 7-2 win came on a first-inning RBI double by Trea Turner.

Then they got a sacrifice fly in the second from Chris Taylor, a 2-run homer in the fourth from Mookie Betts, a sacrifice fly in the fifth from Betts and a 2-run homer in the eighth from Will Smith.



Last night, a mere 3 days later, the Astros scored the game's first run in the first inning on a fly off the bat of Yordan Alvarez with 1 out and runners on second and third.

Jose Altuve crushed a game-tying 2 run homer with 2 out and man on first in the sixth.

Carlos Correa broke the tie by slamming a shot shot with 2 out in the seventh.

Altuve added an insurance run in the eighth with a bases-loaded liner for the first out in the eighth.

That proved to be the Astros' finally tally. So when they withstood a ninth-inning homer to win, 5-4, they became the first team to score all its runs in a post-season game on multiple homers and multiple sacrifice flies in 20 years and 6 days, and only the third known ever to have done so.

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