What can you do when a batted ball gets stuck between a wall and hard place?
A couple of things, it seems.
In St. Petersburg, Rays third baseman Evan Longoria lined a ball off Blue Jays starter Brandon Morrow to left field with one out in the fourth inning, and what happened next has to be seen to be believed.
Longoria's batted ball lodged itself in the area between the base of the wall and the ground and stayed there until Blue Jays left fielder Juan Rivera raced over, picked it up and threw it to shortstop Yunel Escobar. Escobar caught the relay and fired it home to catcher Jose Molina just ahead of Rays veteran Johnny Damon, who was attempting to score from first base on the play.
Molina blocked the plate and Damon was out for the second out of the inning. The Blue Jays eventually won the game, 3-2.
The Royals, like the Rays, fell victim to a little lodge-ball as well. With the Orioles leading the Royals, 3-1, in the eighth inning at Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City shortstop Alcides Escobar hit a one-out single off Baltimore reliever Jim Johnson. Mike Aviles followed with a sharply hit ball that rolled to the left-center-field wall.
Escobar scored easily and Aviles followed right behind him with what appeared to be an inside-the-park home run.
That's because Baltimore center fielder Adam Jones saw that Aviles' ball was stuck underneath the outfield padding and threw up his hands. Upon inspection, Tim Welke, the umpire crew chief, ruled the play a ground-rule double and sent Escobar back to third base and Aviles to second. Escobar eventually scored Kansas City's second run but Aviles was stranded at third base when Alex Gordon made the final out of the inning.
It turned out to be the play of the game. The Orioles won by one run, 3-2.