2018 ALCS

Bedard: Once afterthoughts, Pearce (solo HR) and Bradley (grand slam) lift offense

(Tim Warner/Getty Images)

HOUSTONJackie Bradley Jr.'s eighth-inning grand slam on Tuesday night not only cemented the Red Sox' 8-2 victory in Game 3 of the American League Championship Series over the Houston Astros, it kicked some fairly significant postseason karma when it comes to the Olde Towne Team.

Bradley's slam was the fifth by a Red Sox player in an ALCS. Each of the previous four times it happened, the Red Sox went on to win their last three World Series titles:

2004: Johnny Damon, Game 7;
2007: J.D. Drew, Game 6;
2013: Twice — David Ortiz, Game 2; Shane Victorino, Game 6.

With that significant note out of the way ... What a difference three and a half months can make if you're Bradley, Steve Pearce and the Red Sox.

Back on June 27, Bradley was still scuffling at the plate. He started the day batting .199, but he went 1 for 4 to get to .200. Bradley would dip to .198 about 10 days later — the final time he'd be below the Mendoza Line for the rest of the season.

Steve Pearce was playing his final game in a Blue Jays uniform on June 27 — here at Minute Maid Park against these same Astros. The next day he was traded to the Red Sox.

Basically, back on that early day of summer, no one could have forecast a night like Tuesday, when both had the longest and loudest hits — Pearce had a tiebreaking, 456-foot bomb down the left-field line in the fifth inning — to help propel Boston to a crucial Game 3.

What a long, strange trip it's been for Pearce and Bradley.