Blue Jays center fielder Raimel Tapia hit a rare inside-the-park grand slam on Friday night in Toronto’s historic 28-5 rout of the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park.
Tapia was aided in the feat by an all-around awful defensive play by his counterpart, Red Sox center fielder Jarren Duran.
Based on his reaction, Tapia hit what he thought would be an easy flyout to center field to end the top of the third inning with two outs and the bases loaded. But Duran never located the ball, and it went soaring over his head. To compound his problems, Duran then made no attempt to go back and retrieve the ball.
Tapia raced around the bases and scored easily, putting four runs on the board as the Blue Jays extended their lead to 10-0.
According to MLB’s Sarah LangsTapia’s inside-the-park grand slam is the first in the majors since Michael A. Taylor hit one in 2017. It’s just the second ever in Blue Jays history (Junior Felix also managed the feat at Fenway in 1989).
“I hit it on the barrel, but at the same time I didn’t think it would go too far,” Tapia said via interpreter.
Duran called losing sight of the ball “the most hopeless feeling you could ever feel” and explained why he didn’t make more of a move to retrieve the ball afterwards.
“I just lost it in the twilight,” Duran said. “It happens. (Alex Verdugo) was right there. Obviously, I should have taken a step or two. He was already going to beat me to the ball. I just didn’t want to get in his way. … Next time, I know to take one or two steps.”
The Blue Jays continued to for it on from there.
Toronto finished with 28 runs to set a new team record, breaking their previous mark set in 1978 by four runs. The 28 runs were also the most the Red Sox have ever conceded, surpassing the 27 they gave up in a 1923 game vs. Cleveland.
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Only four teams have ever scored more runs than the Blue Jays in a single game in the modern era: the 1950 Red Sox (29); the 1955 White Sox (29); the 2020 Braves (29); and the 2007 Rangers (30).
Every single member of the Blue Jays’ starting lineup recorded at least two hits Friday, and the team finished with 29 overall – another franchise record.
Toronto scored one run in the first, two in the second, seven in the third, four in the fourth, 11 in the fifth, two in the sixth and one in the ninth, when the Red Sox trotted out third baseman Yolmer Sanchez to finish off the laugher.
The Red Sox used seven pitchers in the game. Relievers Jake Diekman and Hirokazu Sawamura the only ones who didn’t yield a run.
Contributing: Associated Press