Nathan Eovaldi’s bad day on Tuesday was one fan’s very good fortune.
The Boston Red Sox entered the second inning at home holding a 1-0 lead over the Astros. They left trailing, 9-1 after a record-tying outburst from Houston’s bats sent five home runs into the Fenway Park stands.
Eovaldi surrendered all five. One lucky fan caught two of them.
The inning started with a solo home run from Yordan Alvarez over the Green Monster.
Yuli Gurriel then reached first on an error before a Kyle Tucker knock over the right-field wall plated two more runs.
Jeremy Peña extended the lead to 4-1 on the next at-bat with a solo shot over the Green Monster.
After Martin Maldonado and Jose Altuve reached on a single and double respectively, Michael Brantley brought them both home with a three-run blast to right field to extend Houston’s lead to 7-1
Alvarez then followed up his lead-off home run with a single on his second at-bat of the inning before Gurriel brought him home with a two-run blast over the Green Monster to extend Houston’s lead to 9-1.
Gurriel’s home run mercifully ended Eovaldi’s night on the mound. He left the game with 1.2 innings pitched while allowing eight hits, five home runs and nine runs, six of them earned.
It also resulted in a second catch of the game for one fan sitting in the Green Monster stands. The fortunate fan caught Peña’s home run on a ricochet off the wall. He then bare-handed Gurriel’s blast to collect his second ball of the night.
His date was wearing a Red Sox hat. But neither seemed to mind the home team’s misery in the face of their personal good fortune.
While the lucky fans celebrated, the Astros made their mark on the MLB record book. Houston’s five-home run outburst tied a record for most home runs in a single inning that was previously shared by eight other teams dating back to 1939.
They didn’t get their sixth to claim the record for their own. But they did pile on, adding a Tucker grand slam in the fourth to extend their lead to 13-3.