On grounder back to mound, Davis races around bases
Blue Jays left fielder capitalizes on pair of Red Sox errors, sends crowd into frenzy
TORONTO -- In a play that's rarely seen in Major League Baseball, Blue Jays left fielder Rajai Davis hit a hard grounder back to the pitcher, but didn't stop running until he crossed home plate.
Boston committed a pair of throwing errors which allowed the play to happen in Wednesday night's 4-3, 10-inning victory by Toronto, but it was the speed of Davis that sent the crowd at Rogers Centre into a frenzy and left the Red Sox shaking their heads.
Davis has established himself as one of the fastest runners in the Major Leagues, and never was that more apparent than when he sprinted his way around the bases in just 16 seconds.
"I was hoping I could just get to first, made an errant throw, then after that I just want to run," said Davis, who added the last time he had sprinted all the way home was probably Little League.
"I honestly didn't know where that ball was. I heard our third-base coach say, "Go, go, go.' 'OK, I'm gone.' Of course, I had to catch my breath, or trying to. Stumbling. It worked out for us."
The play started when Davis hit a hard grounder back to Jon Lester. Boston's left-hander had the ball bounce off his leg and roll toward first base. Lester picked up the ball and attempted to make an off-balance underhanded throw to first, only to see it skip away from Mike Napoli.
The ball then rolled into foul territory and down the right-field line while Davis sprinted to second, glanced over his shoulder and continued on to third base. Right fielder Shane Victorino thought he might have a play and decided to throw to third, but the ball then bounced off a sliding Davis and toward Toronto's dugout.
The pinball-like effect allowed Davis to trot home without a throw. Davis was credited with a single, while both Lester and Victorino received errors. However, it was Davis' blistering speed that forced the issue and put added pressure on Boston's defense.
"When he gets on, you can't stop him, really," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "He's a special guy, he can do a bit of everything ... You can't stop him, really."
Davis' Little League home run wasn't his only highlight. Davis also sparked Toronto's rally in the 10th inning by doubling off right-hander Brandon Workman and coming around to score on a single by third baseman Brett Lawrie.