The Boston Red Sox were handed a strikeout by the umpire, but they immediately blew it on the next at-bat against the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday.
The Boston Red Sox have a ton of pressure on them, as they look to clinch one of the Wild Card berths in the American League. However, the New York Yankees, Toronto Blue Jays and Seattle Mariners are all rooting for the Baltimore Orioles to defeat the Red Sox to help them careen down the standings.
On Thursday night, the Red Sox received a bit of a gift from the home plate umpire. With two runners on base, Boston pitcher Nick Pivetta threw a high knuckle curve to Cedric Mullens that looked to be well above the top of the strike zone. Yet, the home plate umpire called it a strike.
Red Sox immediately blow awful strikeout gift on next at-bat
The Red Sox immediately paid, as Pivetta surrendered a three-run homer to Ryan Mountcastle to give the Orioles a 3-1 lead.
Boston can thank their lucky stars that they were gifted that strikeout on Mullens. If not, Mullens would have walked to load up the bases and Mountcastle could have hit a grand slam. Even so, the Orioles did make up for it by knocking in three more runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, courtesy of a two-RBI single by Tyler Nevin and a sacrifice fly by Pat Valaika.
Regardless of the end result of Thursday night’s game, the Red Sox enter a pivotal weekend series against the Washington Nationals, where their playoff chances hang in the balance.