Baltimore Orioles outfielder Seth Smith lined a soft single to center field in his team's Wednesday-night showdown with the Rays, but wound up out of breath and sliding past home plate in the same play—on what's called a Little League home run, or when a batter goes from home to home thanks to the aid of his opponents' shoddy fielding.
A series of pretty unbelievable misplays on the parts of Tampa Bay fielders in a one-on, two-out situation quickly resulted in a pair of runs.
Things started with a strong throw from Gold Glove center fielder Kevin Kiermaier, whose toss evaded Evan Longoria as Orioles baserunner Ryan Flaherty got in the way, sending the ball skipping into foul territory. Pitcher Alex Cobb tried to nail a retreating Flaherty, but instead hit him in the helmet, allowing the first run to score.
After the ball made its second foray into the outfield on the same play, Smith darted around third and headed home, where he beat the relay and tag.
— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) April 27, 2017
"It was just a bad play," said Longoria. "We had the one mistake play with Cobb that cost us the two runs."
His manager, Kevin Cash, agreed: "That was a deflating inning. No doubt about it."
"I was trying to steal second and he put the ball in play and it turned into a circus," Flaherty said.
Both runs would prove costly—the game entered extra innings, where Baltimore won on a bases-loaded, four-pitch walk in the second bonus frame.