BOSTON — Jose Abreu’s sixth-inning home run Tuesday night put the Boston Red Sox away for good, and it might leave them without their starting center fielder for the next week.
Umpiring crew chief Bill Miller explained after the game why the play in question, which initially appeared to be a catch by Mookie Betts, was ruled a homer.
“The wording we use is (Betts) has to have ‘control of his body,’ ” Miller said to a pool reporter after the Chicago White Sox defeated the Red Sox 9-4 at Fenway Park. “In this case, we couldn’t tell if the ball was on the ground on the other side of the fence or not, and so that’s why we went to replay. They determined he didn’t have control of his body when he hit the fence and the ball popped out.”
Upon first viewing, Betts appeared to have made a highlight-reel play to rob Abreu of extra bases. The center fielder sprinted to track down the fly ball at the warning track in right-center field, but his momentum took him into the Red Sox’s bullpen, at which point he lost control of the ball as he slammed to the ground.
Regardless of the umpires’ ruling, Betts’ teammates praised the young outfielder for even coming close on the play.
“It was was an unbelievable effort Mookie just gave to try to go run that ball down,” said left-hander Wade Miley, who was on the mound at the time. “That’s kind of how he plays — he’s going to give you everything he’s got every out. Unfortunately, it didn’t go well for us, but I thought he made an unbelievable play. Whatever the rule states, it is what it is, but hats off to Mookie for the effort.”
“He made a good play,” right fielder Alejandro De Aza added. “He made a hell of a play. I don’t know what the situation is right now, I don’t know how he’s feeling, but he did good.”
Red Sox manager John Farrell said immediately after the game that Betts was suffering from “symptoms consistent with a concussion,” but Farrell did not confirm any specific diagnosis.
Thumbnail photo via Charles Krupa/Associated Press