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Wil Myers hit the first inside-the-park home run of the 2014 season Sunday afternoon as the Rays beat the Yankees, 5-1, taking the rubber game of their three-game series at Yankee Stadium. The Rays have now taken two out of three in consecutive road series against the Red Sox and Yankees, winning four of their last five. However, they are still two games below .500, tied with the Red Sox, who lost to the A's in 10 innings on Sunday, with a 15-17 record.
Myers' round-tripper came with the game tied 1-1, one out and two on in the bottom of the third inning. CC Sabathia's 2-2 pitch to Myers was a changeup on the outside part of the plate that Myers hit to right-center field. Jacoby Ellsbury tracked the ball to the wall and tried to make a leaping catch, but he got there too late. The ball hit an inch from the top of the wall, ricocheted back into Ellsbury's chest, then rolled down the warning track toward right field. A full six seconds elapsed between the time the ball hit Ellsbury and right fielder Carlos Beltran retrieved it. By that time Myers, who had jogged to first base because he thought the ball would go over the fence, was halfway between second and third. Beltran's throw was then dropped by cutoff man Yangervis Solarte, and Myers, not to mention the two men in front of him, scored without a throw to give the Rays a 4-1 lead.
"I'm pretty quick," Myers told Sun Sports' Todd Kalas after the game. "Nobody gives me any credit for my speed because I don't steal many bases, but I'm not that slow."
Myers went 6-for-16 with a double, two home runs (he had a conventional one on Saturday) and seven RBI in the three-game series against the Yankees and is now hitting .333/.344/.633 in his career at the new Yankee Stadium with 16 RBI in 13 games.
Meanwhile, Myers' inside-the-park home run is yet another in support of my belief that in modern baseball, all inside-the-park home runs are plays on which errors should be assigned but are not. In this case, Ellsbury's attempt at a spectacular catch is what allowed Myers to round the bases. Had he stayed on his feet and played the ball off the wall, Myers would have had a double at best. It was the six seconds the ball spent rolling slowly across the warning track after making contact with Ellsbury that made Myers' hit a home run. In my book, that's a double and a two-base error by the center fielder. Then again, given that Myers only missed a conventional home run by an inch or two, perhaps it all evened out in the end.Brett Gardner Derek Jeter Royals Bruce Chen Carl Crawford Ben Zobrist Blue Jays Brett Cecil Pirates Jordy Mercer Greg Reynolds