Tampa Bay Rays stung by controversial ground-rule double in ALDS Game 3 loss to Boston Red Sox

Kevin Kiermaier's shot from right field to the outfielder bounces off the wall and is ruled as a ground rule double by umpires. (0:47).
BOSTON -- Kevin Kiermaier was certain Yandy Diaz would score, giving the Tampa Bay Rays an 8-4 lead in the 13th of Sunday's crucial ALDS Game 3 against Boston Red Sox.

Rays outfielder, Jason Castro, hit one off Fenway Park's right-field fence. The ball bounced on the ground and was deflected off Hunter Renfroe's right hip before skipping over the fence.

Diaz could have scored easily if the ball had not bounced off the fence. Crew chief Sam Holbrook called back the umpires to the infield, and they made a decision. The ball was ruled a ground rule double and Diaz would have to return to third base. After the score was tied at 4, a walk-off homer by Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez broke the tie. This clinched a 6-4 Boston win and set up a game for Tampa Bay in Game 4 at Fenway Park on Monday.

Kiermaier stated, "I don't believe it happened. We don't have the chance to score right then." "For one, that ball was mine. I wanted to get out of the yard. I received a lot snap and crackle, but not much pop. It doesn't make any sense for it to me to have that happen.

Holbrook stated that the six-man team of umpires reached the same conclusion, based on Rule 5.06 of the MLB umpire manual. This Rule states that fair balls deflected into the stands by a fielder are fair and allow the batter or runner to advance two bases.

Holbrook stated, "Very simple." Holbrook stated, "Very simple rule from the standpoint of an umpire."

Kevin Cash, Rays manager, asked for advice after the ruling. To make sure Renfroe hadn't intentionally kicked it out, the umpires replayed the game. Cash confirmed that Renfroe didn't intentionally ricochet at the ballpark.

Cash stated, "That's the rule." Cash said, "That's how it works. It was very disappointing for us. It was obvious that Yandy or [Kiermaier] would score, but it wasn't our turn."

Renfroe stated that he tried to catch the ball, but it bounced off of the wall.

Renfroe stated, "Happened that I looked up and the wall wasn't there." "Hopefully, fortunately, the fence bounced over and they issued a ground rule double."

Cash expressed regret over the outcome, although he wished that the play had produced a different result.

Cash stated that while you can appreciate some of the blanket rules at the moment, we have put a lot of emphasis on umpires, and now we have video to umpires. It would be very simple to call someone who said that it was declaring the obvious that he was going score. It's been a tradition for a long while and we will play by the rules this season.

The rules didn't take away the excitement from the moment for Rays' clubhouse.

Kiermaier stated, "It's heartbreaking." "Plain, simple."