The Boston Red Sox lost to the Tampa Bays Rays 7-5 on Wednesday at Tropicana Field, rendering the following play meaningless but no less impressive.
The Red Sox trailed by two runs in the eighth inning when Rene Rivera grounded to third base with a runner on first and no outs. Pablo Sandoval made the stop and started a rather unique double play.
Sandoval, who dropped to one knee while fielding the chopper, tossed to first baseman Mike Napoli to record an out. Brandon Guyer, who walked to begin the inning, then tried to take third base, but his aggressiveness didn’t pan out.
Napoli alertly fired back across the diamond to Sandoval, who slapped down a tag on Guyer to complete a sweet 5-3-5 double play.
Rays manager Kevin Cash challenged the play, as there was some question as to whether Napoli came off the first base bag early and/or whether Guyer slid in ahead of Sandoval’s tag. The umpires confirmed both rulings, though, emptying the bases for the ensuing hitter, Tim Beckham.
The Rays nailed down their victory in the ninth inning, so yeah, the double play will fly under the radar in the grand scheme of things. But those who like nifty glove work still will appreciate the effort.