The Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals don't play each other very often (with the 2004 and 2013 World Series as notable exceptions).
However, the Cardinals made a rare trip to Fenway Park on Tuesday night to kick off a three-game series against the American League East-leading Red Sox.
Game 1 in the series didn't exactly go according to plan for the Redbirds, though, as they were defeated by the home team 10-4 on a night when not much went right.
One of the pivotal moments of the game occurred in the top of the fourth inning. With the Red Sox leading 1-0, the Cardinals got their first two runners on base and had catcher Yadier Molina stepping to the plate.
Unfortunately for St. Louis, though, Molina hit a sharp ground ball to third baseman Rafael Devers, who stepped on the bag and fired to second baseman Eduardo Nunez. Nunez received the throw and quickly tossed it to first baseman Mitch Moreland to complete the smooth, easy triple play:
Though Devers and the Red Sox made the triple play look easy, it's actually an incredibly rare event, as Tuesday's feat was only the 31st time in the long history of the Red Sox that they've recorded a triple play.
After the game, Devers told ESPN.com that he was just hoping for a double play at first, but knew that there was a chance to get three outs with the slow-footed Molina running down the first-base line:
"First thing that went through my mind was just to touch third base and throw as hard as I possibly could to second base to hopefully get a double play and maybe a triple play," Devers said through an interpreter.
Devers' quick thinking helped the Red Sox erase the Cardinals' scoring threat and prevented St. Louis from climbing back into the game.
Red Sox manager John Farrell said he was impressed with the quick thinking of his rookie third baseman (who, at 20 years old, is the youngest player in the majors right now):
"The presence of mind of Raffy, knowing the speed of the runner," Farrell said. "You could understand if a less experienced guy would have stepped on the bag and thrown across the diamond to first. But to go into Nuney at second with a potential to turn it, the dugout was calling for it as soon as it was off the bat."
The Red Sox improved to 68-51 with the win and have now won eight of their last 10 games. They lead the AL East by 4.5 games over the second-place New York Yankees. The Cardinals, on the other hand, dropped to 61-58 with the loss and now trail the first-place Chicago Cubs by 1.5 games in the NL Central.
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