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Span gets inside-the-park HR after funky hop

Speedster rounds bases in fastest home-to-home time this season, per Statcast
Special to MLB.com

BOSTON -- Denard Span was able to get a whole lot of running in at Fenway Park in the Rays' 12-6 win Saturday, with some assistance from a bad hop in center field.

In the top of the second inning, with Wilson Ramos on second base and one out, the Rays outfielder sliced a single into center field that caught Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. off-guard, as it took an odd hop. The ball got past him and rolled all the way to the wall.

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BOSTON -- Denard Span was able to get a whole lot of running in at Fenway Park in the Rays' 12-6 win Saturday, with some assistance from a bad hop in center field.

In the top of the second inning, with Wilson Ramos on second base and one out, the Rays outfielder sliced a single into center field that caught Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. off-guard, as it took an odd hop. The ball got past him and rolled all the way to the wall.

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Shaded in on the play, Bradley, who made a headfirst dive, and the Red Sox outfielders were forced to scramble and chase the bounding ball to one of the deepest parts of the ballpark.

"He hit it toward me, I tried to take the appropriate angle in order to try and make a play, and I missed it," Bradley said. "I just missed it."

Said Span: "Once I came around first base, I saw the ball get by him. I thought it deflected off his glove, so I couldn't tell how far it went past him. I think when I passed second, on my way to third, that's when I could tell I had an opportunity to maybe score on it. Then I got to third, and the third-base coach [Matt Quatraro] told me just to relax."

On his horse, the 34-year-old Span chugged around the bases in 15.80 seconds, the fastest home-to-home time of the season per Statcast™, scoring behind Ramos to give Tampa Bay a 2-1 advantage.

"And I slowed down," Span said. "I'm not sure how that compares. How many others have there been? For a young man like myself [he's 34], I'll take that."

The official scorer had initially ruled the play a single with a three-base error on Bradley, but following further review, the call was reversed and Span was awarded an inside-the-park home run.

Craig Forde is a contributor to MLB.com based in Boston.

Tampa Bay Rays, Denard Span