By CBSBoston.com Staff

BOSTON (CBS) — The Red Sox will play the Houston Astros in a must-win Game 6 in the ALCS on Friday night. Boston has lost two straight games in the series, and now must win two straight on the road if they want the season to continue.

The odds are not great for Boston, but the Red Sox have a history of pulling out Game 6 wins in the ALCS. A really good history. The Red Sox are 6-0 overall in previous ALCS Game 6 matchups.

Of course, past success means absolutely nothing for the 2021 Boston Red Sox. But for a team that needs all the good karma they can get heading into Friday night’s game, they can create plenty of it from the franchise’s six previous Game 6 wins. Five of those victories came with the Red Sox facing elimination, as is the case for Friday night.

And each of the Game Sixes have been pretty spectacular in their own right. From grand slams to a bloody sock and a slap-happy Alex Rodriguez, there has been no shortage of drama. So prepare yourself for Friday night’s must-win game in Houston with a little trip down memory lane.

2013 ALCS: A Grand Clincher Against Tigers

Shane Victorino hits a grand slam against the Detroit Tigers late in Game 6 of the 2013 ALCS at Fenway Park. (Photo by Rob Tringali/MLB via Getty Images)

The Red Sox captured their third AL pennant in 10 years thanks to one big swing by Shane Victorino. With Boston down 2-1 to the Detroit Tigers in the seventh, Victorino crushed a grand slam over the Green Monster to put the Sox on top 5-2. It was quite the way for the Flyin’ Hawaiian to break out of a 2-for-23 slump in the series.

Koji Uehara slammed the door on Detroit’s season with a pair of strikeouts in the ninth, earning his third save of the series and ALCS MVP honors.

After beating Detroit in six games, Boston went on to win the World Series over the St. Louis Cardinals in six games.

2008 ALCS: Forcing A Game 7 In St. Pete

Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon celebrates after securing a save in Game 6 of the 2008 ALCS against the Tampa Bay Rays. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

After trailing the Rays 3-1 in the 2008 ALCS, the Red Sox stayed alive with an 8-7 win in Game 5 to send the series back to St. Petersburg. Things got off to an odd start in Game 6, as TBS missed a good chunk of the first inning, leaving fans to watch a rerun of The Steve Harvey Show.

The Rays had a 1-0 lead after the first inning, but Kevin Youkilis tied it with a homer in the second and put Boston on top with an RBI groundout in the third. Jason Varitek broke up a 2-2 tie in the sixth with a solo homer, and David Ortiz gave Boston some insurance with an RBI single.

Josh Beckett gave the Red Sox five innings of two-run ball, while Hideki Okajima, Justin Masterson and Jonathan Papelbon shut things down out of the bullpen. Boston’s 4-2 win in Game 6 forced a deciding Game 7 the next night, which Tampa won 3-1 as Rays pitching held the Red Sox to just three  hits.

2007 ALCS: J.D. Drews Slams Indians

J.D. Drew hits a grand slam in the first inning of Game 6 of the 2007 ALCS against the Cleveland Indians. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Trailing 3-2 in the series, the Red Sox absolutely crushed the Indians in Game 6 at Fenway Park. J.D. Drew let Sox fans breathe easy early, launching a first-inning grand slam off Fausto Carmona. That was just the start of the rout for Boston, as the Red Sox added six more runs in the third inning. Curt Schilling allowed just two runs over seven innings, as the Sox won 12-2 to force a Game 7.

The Sox won that one too, 11-2, to clinch their sport in the World Series, where they swept the Colorado Rockies for their second title in three years.

2004 ALCS: Comeback Magic Continues In New York

Alex Rodriguez knocks the ball out of the glove of Red Sox pitcher Bronson Arroyo in Game Six of the 2004 American League Championship Series. (Photo by Jim Rogash/WireImage)

Known as the famous “bloody sock” game, Schilling took the mound with a torn tendon sheath in his right ankle that was sutured into place by Sox team doctors. Schill was spectacular too, allowing just one run off four hits while striking out four over seven innings.

The Red Sox scored four runs in the fourth, all with two outs. Mark Bellhorn had the biggest swing of the inning and the game — a three-run homer off Jon Lieber.

The Yankees scored a run in the seventh and another in the eighth, but that was as close as they’d get. Alex Rodriguez famously took a swing at Bronson Arroyo’s arm as the Sox pitcher tried to tag him out at first in the eighth, knocking the ball out of his glove. The play initially scored Derek Jeter to make it a 4-3 game, but the umpire crew huddled up and decided that A-Rod’s slap wasn’t baseball, and called him out for interference. Jeter was put back on first base, and Yankee Stadium erupted in anger. They were probably just embarrassed by A-Rod’s antics — and the fact that their 3-0 series lead was about to be completely vaporized by Boston.

Keith Foulke closed out the 4-2 Boston victory, and the Red Sox pounded the Yankees in Game 7 to complete their epic series comeback. Boston won its first World Series in 86 years a week later with a sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals.

2003 ALCS: Red Sox Win 9-6 In Yankee Stadium

Manny Ramirez, Nomar Garciaparra and Scott Williamson celebrate after defeating the New York Yankees in Game 6 of the 2004 ALCS. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

The two rivals traded wins over the first five games of the series, with the Yankees up 3-2 heading into Game 6. The Yankees led the game 6-4 heading into the seventh inning, when Nomar Garciaparra hit a little league home run, leading off the inning with a triple and scoring on a throwing error by Hideki Matsui. The Red Sox tied the game on an Ortiz RBI single, and took a 7-6 lead when Felix Heredia walked Johnny Damon with the bases loaded. The Sox got some more insurance in the ninth inning thanks to a two-run homer by Trot Nixon, and forced a Game 7 with a 9-6 victory.

We’ll leave it at that. No need to dive any further into this series.

1986 ALCS: Red Sox Beat Angels 10-4 To Force Game 7 

Bill Buckner is congratulated by the Red Sox dugout after scoring a run during Game 6 of the 1986 ALCS. (Photo by Bill Brett/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

After the two teams split a pair of 11-inning games in California — with Game 5 featuring Dave Henderson’s ninth-inning homer to keep Boston’s season alive — the series returned to Fenway Park with the Angels up 3-2 in the series. Both teams scored two in the first inning, before the Red Sox broke things open with a five-run third inning. Oil Can Boyd allowed three runs and struck out five over seven innings, and six different Red Sox players drove in a run in a 10-4 win to force a Game 7.

Boston won that deciding Game 7 the following night, 10-1, to advance to the World Series.

CBSBoston.com Staff