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Strange play in Game 3 of Red Sox-Rays shows rule needs to be adjusted – The Athletic

Not to sound like a cranky old newspaperman, but get me rewrite. The rule that prevented Yandy Díaz from scoring on Kevin Kiermaier’s drive into the right-center field gap in the 13th inning on Sunday night is in need of revision.

The umpires called the play correctly, that much is not in dispute. But the Rays effectively were penalized when the ball bounced off the wall, hit the ground, then caromed off the right hip of the Red Sox’s Hunter Renfroe and landed over the fence.

Díaz, running from first on a 3-2 pitch from Nick Pivetta, would have scored easily if Renfroe, one of the game’s better defensive right fielders, had played the ball cleanly. But because Renfroe inadvertently knocked the ball over the wall, the play was ruled a ground-rule double, forcing Kiermaier to return to second base and Díaz to third.



Would the outcome have changed if Díaz had scored to give the Rays a 5-4 lead, with Kiermaier advancing to third? Obviously, there is no way to know. Yet, even if the inning had ended the same way, with Pivetta striking out Mike Zunino, the Red Sox would have faced greater pressure in the bottom half, trailing by a run instead of continuing with the score tied.

As it turned out, Red Sox catcher

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