Matt Joyce did something he will never be able to repeat in batting practice yesterday – hitting a ball back into the pitching machine.
In a bizarre event which was caught on camera, Joyce connected with a pitch which ricocheted off the netted cage of the practice zone and landed in the pitching machine.
The ball was then fired back at Joyce, who was unaware of what had happened, and blamed Rays’ Chris Fernandez for pitching the ball when he wasn't ready.
Joyce achieved the shot during batting practice ahead of the Rays game against Houston Astros on Thursday.
The Rays went on to beat the Astros 5-0 and take a 1-0 lead in the four-game series, while the fielder achieved a single hit from four at bats.
Joyce, an All-Star in 2011, has had a solid but unspectacular start to 2014 with the Rays with a .266 batting average and has 26 RBIs to his name.
The 29-year-old made his MLB big break with Detroit Tigers in 2008 before switching to Tampa Bay in the offseason.
The versatile fielder can play at right, out and left field and has hit 80 home runs in his six-year MLB career.
The Rays have struggled so far this season and sit bottom of the fiercely competitive American League East division with a 29-45 season record.
They face the Astros at Tropicana Field today in the second game of the four-game series.
The Astros are also finding life difficult in 2014 and are bottom of the American League West division with a 32-42 season record.
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