ST. PETERSBURG -- Ezequiel Carrera didn't know where the ball landed or if it had slipped over the right-field fence, he just kept running until his feet touched home plate.The Blue Jays outfielder's first-inning homer in Saturday's 6-1 defeat to the Rays at Tropicana Field caused some momentary confusion after
ST. PETERSBURG -- Ezequiel Carrera didn't know where the ball landed or if it had slipped over the right-field fence, he just kept running until his feet touched home plate.
The Blue Jays outfielder's first-inning homer in Saturday's 6-1 defeat to the Rays at Tropicana Field caused some momentary confusion after second-base umpire Alfonso Marquez ruled the ball playable, but neither center fielder Kevin Kiermaier nor right fielder Steven Souza Jr. went after it. Replays later showed the ball ricocheted off a seat in the first row for a home run, extending Carrera's career-high hitting streak to 12 games.
"To be honest, I just hit the ball and then I saw the signal from the umpire and he said the ball was in play, so I just kept running," Carrera said through an interpreter. "I didn't know if the ball was out or not, I just followed what the umpire said."
Through video replay, the official scorer ruled it to leave the ballpark, however the Elias Sports Bureau will make an official determination on Monday. If it is ruled as an inside-the-park homer, it will be the first of Carrera's career and the first by a Toronto player since Jose Bautista hit one on July 7, 2010 against the Twins.
"It hit the seat and came back," Souza said. "There was no part of me that didn't think that ball was out. I was standing at the wall and watched it cross over. Everybody else might have thought that. A review would have clearly shown it."
Perhaps even stranger for Carrera, the ball's 94-mph exit velocity off the bat and 29-degree launch angle gave it a hit probability of just 22 percent, according to Statcast™. Similar plays have been tallied as home runs approximately one out of every 10 times.
Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said he understood the puzzlement.
"Sometimes that can be a tough read out there," he said. "I'm sure if he doesn't score, we'll look at it anyway and they would overturn it."
During his current streak, Carrera is batting .333 (14-for-42) and has hit safely in 16 of his last 17 games with a plate appearance.
"I just come here every day and do the same thing every day," he said. "I just try to get on base and make the team win some games."
However he gets them, Carrera will happily accept the hits -- weird or not.
Jeff Odom is a contributor to MLB.com.