The saddened Red Sox concede an inside-the-park grand slam with a record 28-5 loss to Jays |  MLB

The saddened Red Sox concede an inside-the-park grand slam with a record 28-5 loss to Jays | MLB

Raimel Tapia ducked his head and slowly began jogging to first base, not sure if he’d gotten the pop he wanted as he drove a base-loaded flyball into deep midfield in the third inning. Then everything changed about the play and the rest of the night.

Tapia notched an inside-the-park grand slam after a miss by Boston midfielder Jarren Duran and the Toronto Blue Jays set a franchise record for runs in one game, rolling 28-5 past the Red Sox on Friday night.

Raimel Tapia INSIDE-THE-PARK GRAND SLAM! pic.twitter.com/7DQz5jlL2S

— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) July 23, 2022

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Toronto came within two of the modern major league record for runs in a game after stranding two runners in the ninth inning with Boston infielder Yolmer Sanchez on the mound. Every Blue Jays starter had at least two hits, and Lourdes Gurriel Jr matched Frank Catalanotto’s franchise record with six of them. Danny Jansen scored twice and drove six runs. Matt Chapman and Teoscar Hernandez added solo homers for Toronto that surpassed their previous single-game mark of 24 runs, set against the Baltimore Orioles in June 1976.

“That was great,” said interim manager John Schneider. “We talked before the game about coming out a little bit sleepy and hot. I think we obviously came out hot.”

The 28 runs is the most ever scored by a Red Sox team, surpassing the previous mark in a 27-3 loss to Cleveland in 1923. Fenway Park loyalists jeered all night save for a marriage proposal on the video board with the home team behind 25-3. The woman’s “yes” was one of the few times Boston fans found reason to cheer.

Toronto started the day with a two-game lead over the Red Sox to secure the AL’s last wildcard spot. The Red Sox have lost their last three games 14-1, 13-2 and 28-5.

Red Sox starter Nathan Eovaldi lasted just under three innings, allowed a homer and was penalized with nine runs. That began a 29-hit night for Toronto four-game winners that saw almost as many follies from the Red Sox.

It started with Tapia’s home run sprint. With two outs in the third and Toronto leading 6-0, Tapia lifted a two-out fly at center against reliever Austin Davis. Duran took a few steps back, then a few in, then raised his hands in confusion. Boston fans groaned as the ball landed on the warning track behind him.

“[First base coach Mark Budzinski] started saying, “You have to run! You have to run!’” Tapia said. “That’s when I started running really hard, right there.” Duran slowly walked toward the ball while left fielder Alex Verdugo swooped over, slid to pick it up, and fired it toward the infield. The relay home didn’t come close to catching Tapia, who sped up after realizing Duran had lost the ball. “I hit it on the run, but at the same time I didn’t think it was going to go too far,” Tapia said.

Duran called losing sight of the ball “the most hopeless feeling you could ever feel.” He added: “I just lost it at dusk. It happens. [Verdugo] was right there. Obviously I should have taken a step or two. He was about to hit me on the ball. I just didn’t want to get in his way. Next time I know I have to take a step or two.”

Raimel Tapia is congratulated after his Inside the Park Grand Slam.
Raimel Tapia is congratulated after his Inside the Park Grand Slam. Photo: Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports

Boston made another error on defense in the fifth. Trailing 15-3, Chapman lifted a two-out popup on the infield that fell between catcher Kevin Plawecki, reliever Kaleb Ort and third baseman Rafael Devers for a base hit that allowed another run. It led to more ridicule and disdain from Boston fans, who stayed in their seats. Those who stayed tried to make the most of a sad night at the stadium.

Fans still rose for the traditional Fenway signing of Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline. But on a night that was as memorable as it was unforgettable, it too ended with a few boos. The only cheer left? When Duran struck to end the game.

The modern MLB record for runs in a game is 30, set by the Texas Rangers against the Baltimore Orioles in 2007. The all-time mark is 36 for the Chicago Colts against the Louisville Colonels in 1897.

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