The baseball gods did not work in the Tampa Bay Rays’ favor Sunday night at Fenway Park.
The Rays were victims of some pretty terrible luck in the 13th inning of their American League Division Series Game 3 against the Red Sox. With the critical contest deadlocked at 4-4, Kevin Kiermaier roped a deep, two-out shot to right field that would have easily plated Yandy Díaz from first. But the baseball deflected off of right fielder Hunter Renfroe and bounced into Boston’s bullpen.
The call on the field was a ground-rule double, which kept Kiermaier at second and brought Díaz back to third. Nick Pivetta proceeded to strike out Mike Zunino to end the frame and the Red Sox capitalized on their good fortune in the bottom half, as Christian Vázquez launched a walk-off home run to give Boston a 2-1 series lead.
Though one can imagine how Kevin Cash felt deep down about the wonky double, Tampa Bay’s manager didn’t push back on the umpires’ ruling after the game.
“By rule, it’s just a ground-rule double,” Cash told reporters, as transcribed by ASAP Sports. “The umpires met and got together, and said, you’re more than welcome to challenge it. I saw the replay. Obviously, there was nothing intentional by it. That’s just the rule. That’s the way it goes. It was very unfortunate for us. I think it was fairly obvious that KK or Yandy was going to come around to score, but it didn’t go our way.”
Cash noted he asked the crew if umpire discretion was warranted for that particular situation, and he was told it was not.
The two-time defending AL East champions now will have to put that bad break behind them and try to keep their season alive Monday. Game 4 is set to begin at 7:07 p.m. ET, and NESN will provide both pregame and postgame coverage for the matchup.
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