Bizarre Play Sends Boston into Near-Panic Mode

The Rays arrived at Fenway Park yesterday for the start of a critical four-game series and proceeded to down the Red Sox in the opener, 9-2, meaning that Tampa Bay is now a mere three games behind Boston in the wild-card race.

The key moment of the game occurred in the top of the third inning. A seemingly harmless, broken-bat ground ball (fast forward to 0:14) from B.J. Upton hit in the direction of Sox shortstop Marco Scutaro should have been the third out . . . except somehow the ball and bat and runner from second base converged at the same time, crossing up Scutaro, resulting in the Rays’ first run. The next batter, Evan Longoria, hit a three-run bomb to right-center to make the score, 4-0.

After the game, Rays manager Joe Maddon reasoned, “You’re always looking for signs. You’re looking for signs from that baseball heaven, the baseball gods. They’ve got to throw you a sign once in a while, give you something to further the belief.”

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