Benintendi hits two-run homer off Verlander

Astros righty was making first career relief appearance

Benintendi hits two-run homer off Verlander

BOSTON -- Justin Verlander's first career relief appearance did not start off as the Astros had hoped, as the veteran right-hander surrendered a two-run, go-ahead home run to Red Sox rookie Andrew Benintendi during the fifth inning of Boston's 5-4 loss in Game 4 of the American League Division Series presented by Doosan on Monday at Fenway Park.

Verlander entered the game with a runner on first and the Astros clinging to a 2-1 lead, but he hung a 2-2 slider to Benintendi, who crushed it to right field to put the Red Sox in front, 3-2.

"He was just throwing me all fastballs and after facing him the first time in the series, I had it my mind that he might throw me a slider at some point," said Benintendi.

Benintendi on home run, loss

Benintendi's home run had an exit velocity of 90.4 mph, making it the "softest" hit postseason home run since Statcast™ debuted in 2015. The previous low was a 90.7 mph home run that Daniel Murphy (then with the Mets) hit against the Cubs in Game 2 of the 2015 National League Championship Series.

All four of the Red Sox's runs came via the long ball, as Xander Bogaerts also hit a solo home run off Charlie Morton in the first inning to put Boston on the board. Rafael Devers hit a leadoff inside-the-park homer in the ninth.

Maria Guardado is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.