The Tampa Bay Rays dropped a heartbreaker to the Boston Red Sox Sunday in Game 3 of the ALDS.
Boston won 6-4 thanks to a Christian Vasquez walk-off home run in the bottom of the 13th inning, but it's what happened in the top of that inning that everyone is talking about.
Kevin Kiermaier hit a fly ball that kicked against Fenway Park’s short right field wall, skipped off outfielder Hunter Renfroe and flew right back over the barrier and into the bullpens.
Tampa Bay thought Yandy Díaz had scored easily from first base for a 5-4 lead, but he was sent back to third after the umpires went to the headsets to aid in making a decision.
However, Baseball Rule 5.05(a)(8) states: “Any bounding fair ball is deflected by the fielder into the stands, or over or under a fence on fair or foul territory, in which case the batter and all runners shall be entitled to advance two bases.”
The unlucky break for Tampa Bay meant Kiermaier had to stay on second and Yandy Diaz had to go back to third. The Rays were unable to score after that, and in the bottom of the inning Boston won the game.
“It’s a heartbreaker, plain and simple,” said Kiermaier.
The loss means the Rays are now down 2-1 in the best of 5 series. Game 4 is at Fenway Park Monday night with first pitch scheduled for 7:07 p.m.
Tampa Bay has to rally and win the next two games to keep their season alive. Should the Rays win Monday, they'll head back to St. Petersburg for a winner-take-all Game 5 Wednesday night.
The winner of this series takes on the winner of the Houston Astros vs. Chicago White Sox series.