A dubious baserunning blunder cost the Red Sox dearly on Saturday as the club squandered a tight matchup against the Blue Jays in heartbreaking fashion at Fenway Park.
With Toronto leading, 5–4, with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning, Red Sox catcher Connor Wong crushed a ball toward the Green Monster. Wong’s hit initially appeared headed for the stands for a walk-off home run, but fell near the base of the wall as the ball found its way into the Blue Jays outfielder Kevin Kiermaier’s glove following a leaping catch for the out.
Shortly after the clutch play, Red Sox pinch hitter Reese McGuire, who singled to first two at-bats prior, found himself in no man’s land after rounding third base on what appeared to be the game-winning hit. Instead, the contest would conclude on a game-ending double play after Kiermaier rifled the ball to second with McGuire standing on third.
To make matters worse for Boston, the alternate angle of the play showed McGuire celebrating immediately after Wong’s hit, and also appeared to catch a shot of third base coach Carlos Fibles waving McGuire home.
Reese McGuire was celebrating as he rounded third in what ended up being a game-ending double play 😳 pic.twitter.com/oM1e5DrB6a
— Jomboy Media (@JomboyMedia) August 5, 2023
Given the collective lack of awareness displayed on the play, the Red Sox and manager Alex Cora may be thinking about the outcome of Saturday’s game as the standings continue to tighten.
Following Saturday’s loss, the last-place Red Sox (57–53) are now a half-game behind the Yankees (58–53) and four games behind the Blue Jays (62–50) in the AL East. Boston has now lost the first two games of its three-game series against Toronto after beating its division rival in the clubs’ previous seven meetings this season.