Likely double play turns into two runs for Tazawa

Likely double play turns into two runs for Tazawa
August 18, 2014, 11:45 pm
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(USA Today Sports Images)

BOSTON - It looked like Junichi Tazawa and the Red Sox were going to escape the 8th inning unscathed.

With the Red Sox electing to intentionally walk Albert Pujols to load the bases with one out, Howie Kendrick stepped to the plate.

Then Kendrick did exactly what the Red Sox had hoped he'd do: hit one on the ground for an inning-ending double play.

Kendrick did his part, but Tazawa couldn't do his. As the ball bounced relatively slowly towards Tazawa, he couldn't field it cleanly. The ball hit off his glove and rolled to the third base side. Tazawa raced for the ball and fired wildly to home where it bounced off a sliding Chris Iannetta and skipped to wall in foul ground on the first base side. The throw was nowhere near Sox catcher Christian Vazquez

That allowed Kole Calhoun to score, giving the Angels a 4-1 lead.

"Yeah we get into a situation where two guys get on to lead off the inning," Farrell said. "Get a quick out, with the strikeout to Trout obviously the big out in the inning. Knowing [Albert] Pujols isn't likely to expand the zone we walk the bases loaded and get the come-backer. Unfortunately what looked like the inning-ending double play turns into a couple of runs for them."

"It was an in-between play," Tazawa said of the throw through a translator. "I was thinking of going to the backhand or just going to the front and I was caught in-between. If I had knocked it down straight forward I probably had a better shot. It rolled to the third base side so that made it a little difficult. But I should have made that play."

What should have been a 1-2-3 inning-ending double play instead turned resulted in two huge insurance runs for the Angels in a game where the Red Sox had been knocking on the door virtually every inning.

Tazawa was able to record outs over the next two at-bats, getting Erik Aybar to ground into a fielder's choice (Pujols at home) and Collin Cowgill to strike out looking.

Pujols was originally ruled safe at home before John Farrell successfully challenged the call.