It’s not often that you see a stand-up inside-the-park home run, let alone one where the batter could go into a home run trot around the bases.
But that’s what happened Tuesday as the Texas Rangers’ Hunter Pence had one of the most bizarre — and easiest — inside-the-park home runs you’ll ever see.
In the top of the sixth inning in the Rangers’ game against the Red Sox at Fenway Park, Pence lofted a high fly ball to deep right that Boston right fielder Brock Holt chased toward the wall near Pesky’s Pole.
Holt failed to make the catch as the ball bounced off the wall and ricocheted back onto the field, settling under the wall in right-center near the bullpen.
— MLB (@MLB) June 12, 2019
Holt was in no position to chase it as he went halfway over the wall trying to make the catch.
Center fielder Mookie Betts was nowhere to be found either; he apparently didn’t see where the ball ended up.
So Pence raced around the bases, but he didn’t have to — Betts didn’t get to the ball until after Pence crossed home plate for his 14th home run of the season.
“Wow. That’s the easiest inside-the-park home run I’ve ever seen,” one of the announcers said. “He could have scored twice.”
For Pence, it was not your typical home run.
“Kind of just a weird incident to be a part of,” Pence said after the game, The Associated Press reported. “I’ve never done it, so now I have. It’s a good feeling.”
“I was watching it probably a little too long because I was like awkwardly around first base, so then I just took off running because I saw the ball,” Pence said. “I heard someone saying, ‘Slow down, slow down,’ and I’m like, ‘I’m not slowing down until I see an umpire say something.'”
Holt, a utility infielder and spot outfielder, had just come into the game in the fifth inning after starting right fielder Andrew Benintendi was ejected for arguing a call at first base. Manager Alex Cora was also tossed for defending Benintendi.
Cora got ejected. Benintendi, too.
“That’s f—– bs,” Benintendi said on his way out to 1B umpire Vic Carapazza.
— Pete Abraham (@PeteAbe) June 12, 2019
“Guys are frustrated. We try not to be, but games like tonight, it’s embarrassing,” Holt said after the game, according to the AP. “We’re not playing well. We’re not playing up to our capabilities and that’s the frustrating part.”
The Rangers beat the Red Sox 9-5. It was Boston’s third straight loss and the fifth in its last six games. The Red Sox are now 34-34, eight games behind the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays, who are tied for first in the AL East at 41-25.
The Rangers are 36-30, nine games behind the Houston Astros in the AL West.
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