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The Tampa Bay Rays were jobbed out of runs in the 13th inning after Kevin Kiermaier’s hit was called a ground-rule double.
The last thing that the MLB postseason was confusion, but lo and behold, Game 3 of the ALDS between the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays delivered just that. And it came at the worst possible time for the reigning AL East champions.
In the top of the 12th-inning, Kevin Kiermaier hit a a shot to right-center field. The baseball bounced off the wall, onto the ground and off of outfielder Hunter Renfroe to reach the Red Sox bullpen. It looked as though Yandy Diaz had scored, but the umpires determined that it was a ground rule double.
mlb ground rule double explained
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic got the official ruling from the league and it states that “a ball deflected by a player out of play is a ground-rule double” and that the ball “retains its status as a batted ball until it’s fielded cleanly by a defensive player.” Rosenthal’s quote comes courtesy of Jen McCaffrey of The Athletic.
Immediately after the ground-rule double was called and Diaz was sent back to third base, the Rays left the inning with a single run, as catcher Mike Zunino struck out on four pitches.
The Red Sox ultimately emerged victorious in the bottom of the 13th, as Renfroe reached first on a walk and catcher Christian Vazquez walked things off with a two-run homer to give Boston the 6-4 win.
The Rays went from looking like they were going to take an eventual Game 3 victory, to now being one loss away from an early elimination that, quite frankly, no one saw coming. Tampa looks to avoid that with a win on Monday.