Controversial ending to Red Sox-Rays finale highlights more umpire blunders

Tampa Bay Rays v Boston Red Sox
Tampa Bay Rays v Boston Red Sox / Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/GettyImages

In the ninth inning of a 7-5 game with two outs, runners on the corners and a series split on the line Thursday night, Tampa Bay Rays pitching coach Kyle Snyder began to walk to the mound to speak with his pitcher, Jason Adam.

Snyder never reached the mound to have a visit, but it didn't matter. The Rays already used their ninth-inning mound visit. Once Snyder crossed the third-base line, he committed an infraction.

Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora streaked out of the dugout and had a heated conversation with the umpires. MLB rules state that if a team uses an extra mound visit, the team is forced to make a pitching change.

Crew Chief Phil Cuzzi later told reporters that Snyder never made it to the mound to speak with the pitcher, so the umpiring crew let his infraction go before Cora confronted them. They knew the rule but went forward with a rule check through New York, which caused around a five-minute delay of game action.

Red Sox couldn't capitalize on Rays ninth-inning mistake, lose series and fall to fourth place in AL East

The Rays swapped Adam for Erasmo Ramírez, the final reliever in their bullpen. The argument between Cora and the umpiring crew, along with the rule check, gave Ramírez an excess of time to warm up, which upset the Red Sox skipper.

Ramírez collected the final out after Romy González bounced a grounder back to the pitcher, who made the out at first.

Cora may have been better off letting the infraction go. He ultimately convinced the umpires to make the right call, but the Red Sox collected a walk and a hit off Adam just before the illegal "mound visit." It may have favored Boston more to face Adam than Ramírez, but Cora was likely unaware he'd be given a five-minute rule check to warm up.

Regardless of the outcome, umpires knew that Snyder violated a rule and planned to let it go, which caused the delay in the first place. Boston couldn't capitalize and now are 1-6 in divisional games this season.

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