Ground Rule Trouble: Red Sox Bounce Rays in 13 on Odd Call | Sports News

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By JIMMY GOLEN, AP Sports Writer

BOSTON (AP) – Kevin Kiermaier’s line drive flew over the head of right fielder Hunter Renfroe and bounced off the short wall in front of the Boston reliever pen and returned to the warning track. It ricocheted off Renfroe and through the air.

The Red Sox right fielder waved him desperately – and unsuccessfully – to keep him out of the game.

It’s a good thing he can’t.

Saved by an obscure rule and a rebound that was odd even for eccentric Fenway Park, the Red Sox shifted Tampa Bay 6-4 Sunday night to Christian Vázquez’s 13th inning homerun to move a 100 elimination victory. Rays victories of the AL Division series.

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“I was speechless,” said center fielder Kiké Hernandez, who came to assist Renfroe. “I don’t know if you’ve seen this before. I’ve never seen this in my life.

“I wasn’t sure what was going to be called. I didn’t know if the runners had to come back. … Like, I had no idea, ”he said. “Fortunately, it turned out our way. And you call it a field advantage if you will – call it what you will – but we won. “

The wild Red Sox took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five game. Game 4 is on Monday at Fenway – Marathon Day in Boston – with Game 5 in St. Petersburg, Fla. On Wednesday, if necessary.

Tampa Bay recovered from a 4-2 deficit to tie in the eighth inning and it was still 4 when Yandy Diaz scored a single with an out in the 13th.

Then came the game where the umpires rushed to the rulebook and the Rays scratched their heads.

Diaz was halfway through second to third when Kiermaier’s ball bounced off the 5-foot-high wall, and he would have easily scored if he had stayed in play. But the refs concerted and went to the helmets. before giving Kiermaier a brace and sending Diaz back to third place.

Baseball Rule 5.05 (a) (8) states: “Any good bouncing ball is deflected by the fielder in the stands, or above or below a fence in fair or foul territory, to which the batter and all runners are entitled to advance. two bases.

“If I stay second it’s good,” said Kiermaier. “But I was hoping to see Yandy score, because he would obviously have scored. … It’s amazing that it worked to their advantage just like that.

Rays manager Kevin Cash said he watched the replay and it was obvious Renfroe hadn’t dropped him against the wall on purpose.

“It’s just the rule. This is how it goes. It was very unfortunate for us, ”he said. “I think it was pretty obvious that KK or Yandy were going to score, but it just didn’t go our way.”

Said umpire team leader Sam Holbrook: “It’s in the rulebook. This is a double rule of thumb. Arbitrators have no discretion. “

“There isn’t, ‘He would have done this, would have done that.’ It’s just in the rulebook, it’s a duplicate of the ground rule, ”he said.

When play resumed, Nick Pivetta took out Mike Zunino at bat to end the inning and came to leap off the mound to celebrate.

Renfroe walked with an indent in the bottom half, then Vázquez hit Luis Patiño’s first pitch on the green monster to end it.

Hernández and Kyle Schwarber each had three hits, including one home run, for Boston.

Hernández scored a single in the first, a single in the third, and a homer in the fifth to give him seven straight hits in the series. He went 5 for 6 with a homerun and three doubles in Boston’s Game 2 victory, becoming the Red Sox’s first player with four more hits in a playoff game.

Red Sox ace Nate Eovaldi gave Austin Meadows a two-run homerun early in the first, but Schwarber dominated the bottom half with a homerun. Hernández’s homerun in the fifth inning gave Boston a 4-2 lead, but the Rays tied it in the eighth when Wander Franco hit a solo homerun and Meadows and Randy Arozarena doubled up.

Garrett Whitlock struck out Zunino at bat to end the inning.

With a runner in the first row in 10th, JD Martinez fouled five shots with two strikes, then hit one in the middle right away, where Kiermaier shot him just in front of the 379-foot marker. (Wind was blowing.)

In 11th, Arozarena stole second place and was caught in a crash as he made his way to third place, but rushed to the sack safely. But he was stuck there when Pivetta pulled out Zunino and Jordan Luplow on strikes to end the round.

Boston had a runner in first place in the 11th when Hernández hit a helicopter in the hole between the court and the third. Franco went to his right to line him up, then made a long throw that first baseman Luplow picked up in the dirt for the third out.

Schwarber, a 2016 Cubs World Series title star who scored in the game against the Yankees, also scored a single and scored in the third, when Boston scored two runs to chase Drew Rasmussen and take a lead of 3-2. He hit a single in the ninth before leaving for a pinch runner.

But it was Schwarber’s play on the pitch that made him endearing to Fenway fans.

After making a mistake when he lobed the ball over pitcher Nathan Eovaldi’s head to a Grounder in the third inning, Schwarber was tested on a similar play that made a more accurate pitch in the fourth.

He celebrated by raising both arms in the air and punching, then tilting his cap at the jubilant fans. Schwarber turned to the canoe and burst out laughing.

Spokes: Arozarena slid to second with her eighth inning double, then limped into the dugout as the Red Sox switched pitcher. But he stayed in the game.

Red Sox: RHP Hansel Robles appeared to be feeling uneasy after taking Diaz out on strikes for the second out in the eighth. He winced and stretched his shoulder, then gave up on Arozarena’s brace to tie 4-4.

The teams will play again on Monday evening, with the starters to be announced. Nick Pivetta was supposed to start for Boston and Patiño for the Rays, but both pitched in Game 3. Red Sox manager Alex Cora said it would most likely be Eduardo Rodriguez.

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