Hart's tough luck leads to pair of bizarre singles
SEATTLE -- Mariners designated hitter Corey Hart easily could have had a home run and double in Monday's 12-5 win over the Rays, but instead ended up with a pair of singles on two unusual plays.
Hart roped a first-inning line drive that looked like a home run to right field, with the ball glancing off the very top of the yellow line on the top of the fence as a fan reached forward to catch it. Thinking the ball had hit a railing right behind the fence, the nine-year veteran jogged into second base -- only to have the Rays relay the ball in and tag him as he tried to slide late into the bag.
He wound up with an RBI single on the play instead of a two-run home run. Then in the third inning, Hart laced a shot to deep center with runners on first and second and was steaming into second with an apparent double when he realized the lead runner -- rookie James Jones -- had tagged up and nearly been crossed in the basepaths by Robinson Cano as he rounded second.
The speedy Jones reversed course and wound up scoring on the play before center fielder Desmond Jennings could get the relay in, but Hart turned around and sprinted back to first when he saw the confusion in front of him and again wound up with an unusually long RBI single.
"In different situations, it might have mattered more," Hart said. "But in that game, just getting the RBI and getting on base was the main thing. They were both kind of funny situations. I thought the first one was gone. The fans were giving me confidence and then I was just begging for it more than anything. But it's all good."
Hart had never seen two players hit the yellow line atop the fence on back-to-back shots as he and Cano did in the first, coming inches from home runs to left and right field.
"Hey, me and him need to do more pushups, I guess," Hart said.
Jones knew he cost his teammate a double on the second play and vowed to learn from it.
"That's a baserunning mistake on me," Jones said. "I have to extend out [from second] and I'll learn from that next time. Jennings looked like he had a tough time getting to it, too, so that should have been a good read for me to extend out and score on that. I'll make an adjustment next time."