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Ground rule double ruling alters Game 3 of the ALDS

What could’ve been the go-ahead run for the Rays got taken off the board by a few bizarre bounces.

Hunter Renfroe #10 of the Boston Red Sox reacts as a ball is ruled a ground rule double during the thirteenth inning of game three of the 2021 American League Division Series against the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park on October 10, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

A walkoff Christian Vazquez home run over the Green Monster allowed the Boston Red Sox to survive a 13-inning marathon in Game 3 of the ALDS and clinch a 6-4 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays. Sunday’s win puts Boston up 2-1 in the best-of-five series.

The big story came in the top of the 13th, when what would’ve be the go-ahead run for the visitors got nullified by a few weird bounces in what ended up being a ground-rule double.

With two outs and Yandy Diaz on first, Rays outfielder Kevin Kiermaier launched one to deep right field that — follow me here — bounced off the wall, then bounced off Red Sox right fielder Hunter Renfroe, and then back over the wall for a ground-rule double.

Advancing during the play, Diaz ended up scoring on what was thought to be the go-ahead run. But after long deliberation from the umpires and a call to New York, the play was ruled a regular ground-rule double, with Kiermaier being parked on second and Diaz being parked on third. Rays catcher Mike Zunino would be set down on strikes to end the inning and people were, of course, not happy about the ruling...

Here’s ESPN MLB Insider Jeff Passan going directly into the MLB rule book to explain the decision.

The fluke bounce off Renfroe may be what ultimately determines this high-stakes playoff series between two bitter AL East rivals. Game 4 is set for 7:07 p.m. ET on Monday at Fenway Park.