The good news about the throwing error Boston Red Sox second baseman Trevor Story made in the third inning Friday night against the Tampa Bay Rays, he had plenty of time to make up for it.
And Story sure did that.
Story made a couple critical web gems in Boston’s 4-3 victory over the Rays, including a game-sealing stop off the bat of superstar Wander Franco to record the final out of the contest.
“He took over the ninth inning,” Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts said as seen on NESN postgame coverage. “I’m not even worried about him not hitting. He’s going to hit. He’s just making these spectacular plays right now with his defense, his range, everything. He’s got it all.”
Even though Story has scuffled at the plate — he’s batting .231 in the early going and went 1-for-5 from the leadoff spot in the win — to begin his Red Sox tenure, it hasn’t impacted his play in the field.
Story needed to flash his glove to secure a Boston win as the Red Sox nearly imploded in the bottom of the ninth with Jake Diekman’s erratic pitching leading to him walking the bases loaded. Matt Barnes came on to record the final out but was severely aided by Story.
Franco hit a ball between first and second that Story had to range far to his left to reach before going into a slide and popping up to get Franco at first in plenty of time.
“Franco hits the ball hard, so I was just ready,” Story said to NESN’s Jahmai Webster as seen on NESN postgame coverage. “Not really swinging the bat like I want to right now, so just trying to find anyway I can help the team and do it on defense and that’s what I was able to do.”
That clinching play wasn’t even Story’s best defensive moment of the game. In the bottom of the fourth, Story came through with another impressive play that had an even higher degree of difficulty as Story laid out and snagged a line drive that Manuel Margot drilled directly up the middle of the diamond.
While Story is still looking to get things going at the plate, his defensive contributions have made a winning impact.
“Made some huge plays, bailed us out of some spots and just a great, great defensive performance by Story,” said Red Sox bench coach Will Venable as seen on NESN postgame coverage.