In baseball, you never know what's going to happen. Even though the game has been played for more than 150 years, you could still see something unique every single night.
On Friday night in Baltimore, fans were treated to something you don't see very often, though it came as the hometown Orioles were crushed by the visiting St. Louis Cardinals 11-2.
In the top of the seventh inning, Cardinals shortstop Aledmys Diaz stepped to the plate and appeared to foul off a curveball from Baltimore reliever Gabriel Ynoa.
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Despite the ball leaving Diaz's bat and going well into foul territory, Diaz put so much spin on it that it immediately started rolling toward fair territory, as you can see in the video below:
Diaz, to his credit, sprinted out of the batter's box, not taking it for granted that it would stay in foul territory. He forced Ynoa to try to make a quick play on the ball as it rolled fair, causing the pitcher to make an error on the throw to first base.
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Many players would have immediately stopped running after hitting a ball that appeared to be heading so far into foul territory, but Diaz told MLB.com after the game that he had a strange feeling this particular foul ball might return to fair territory:
"That's why you run hard out of the box," he said. "I thought it had a chance [to turn back fair]. You never know."
Of course, if an Orioles player had managed to touch the ball before it rolled back into fair territory, it would have been dead. But, since everyone except Diaz was taken by surprise, the Cardinals shortstop ended up at first base on the play.
There were two outs at the time of Diaz's hustle play, so he was able to extend the inning for Tommy Pham, who stepped up to the plate as the next batter and blasted a two-run home run to extend the Cardinals' lead to 10-1.
If Diaz had given up on the play, the inning would have been over and the Cardinals wouldn't have scored the extra runs. Of course, in the 11-2 beatdown of the Orioles, it didn't end up mattering, but you never know in baseball.
The Cardinals improved to 31-35 with the victory and are now 4.5 games behind the Milwaukee Brewers in the National League Central division. The Baltimore Orioles dropped to 32-34 with the loss and trail the New York Yankees by 6.5 games in the AL East race.
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