BOSTON — Raimel Tapia ducked his head and slowly began jogging to first base, not sure if he’d gotten the pop he wanted as he drove a bases-loaded flyball into deep midfield in the third inning.
Then everything changed about the play – and the rest of the evening.
Tapia notched an inside-the-park grand slam following a miss by Boston midfielder Jarren Duran, and the Toronto Blue Jays set a franchise record for runs in one game, rolling 28-5 past the Red Sox on Friday night .
Toronto came within two of the modern major league record for runs in a game after stranding two runners in the ninth inning with Boston infielder Yolmer Sanchez on the mound.
Every Blue Jays starter had at least two hits, and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. matched Frank Catalanotto’s franchise record with six of them.
Danny Jansen scored twice and drove six runs. Matt Chapman and Teoscar Hernandez added solo home runs for Toronto, which surpassed its previous single-game mark of 24 runs set on June 26, 1976 against the Baltimore Orioles.
“That was great,” said interim manager John Schneider. “We talked before the game about coming out a little bit sleepy and hot. I think we obviously came out hot.”
The 28 runs is the most ever scored by a Red Sox team, surpassing the previous mark in a 27-3 loss to Cleveland in 1923.
The Fenway Park faithful jeered all night – apart from a marriage proposal on the video board that left the home team 25-3 behind. The woman’s “yes” was one of the few times Boston fans found reason to cheer.
Toronto started the day with a two-game lead over the Red Sox to secure the AL’s final wild card spot. The Blue Jays improved 7-3 against Boston this year.
Red Sox starter Nathan Eovaldi (4-3) only lasted 2⅔ innings, allowing a homer and rushing with nine runs.
That began a night of 29 goals for Toronto – winners of four consecutive games – with almost as many follies from the Red Sox.
It started with Tapia’s home run sprint.
With two outs in the third and Toronto leading 6-0, Tapia lifted a two-out fly at center against reliever Austin Davis.
Duran took a few steps back, then a few in, then raised his hands in confusion. Boston fans groaned as the ball landed on the warning track behind him.
“(First base coach Mark Budzinski) started saying, ‘You gotta run! You gotta run!'” Tapia said through an interpreter. “That’s when I started running really hard, right there.”
Duran slowly walked towards the ball while left fielder Alex Verdugo swept over, slid to pick it up and fired it toward infield. The relay home was unable to catch Tapia, who sped up after realizing Duran had lost the ball.
“I hit it on the run but at the same time I didn’t think it was going to go too far,” Tapia said.
Duran called losing sight of the ball “the most hopeless feeling you can ever feel.”
“I just lost it in the twilight,” Duran said. “Happens. (Verdugo) was right there. Obviously I should have taken a step or two. He was about to hit me on the ball. I just didn’t want to get in his way. … Next time I know I have to take a step or two.”
Boston made another error on defense in the fifth. Trailing 15-3, Chapman lifted a two-out popup on the infield that fell between catcher Kevin Plawecki, reliever Kaleb Ort and third baseman Rafael Devers for a base hit that allowed another run.
It led to more ridicule and disdain from Boston fans, who stayed in their seats. Those who stayed tried to make the most of a dreary night at the stadium.
Fans still stood up to hear the traditional Fenway chant of Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline.” But on a night that was as memorable as it was unforgettable, it too ended with a few boos.
The only cheer left? When Duran struck to end the game.
The modern MLB record for runs in a game is 30, set by the Texas Rangers against the Baltimore Orioles on August 22, 2007. The all-time mark is 36 for the Chicago Colts against the Louisville Colonels in 1897.
Kevin Gausman (7-7) strayed seven hits and three carries over five innings for Toronto.
https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/34282545/toronto-raimel-tapia-hits-park-grand-slam-blue-jays-set-franchise-mark-runs-scored-28-5-rout-boston-red-sox Toronto’s Raimel Tapia hits inside-the-park grand slam as Blue Jays set franchise mark for runs scored in 28-5 rout of Boston Red Sox