ST. PETERBURG -- Twins rookie slugger Miguel Sano hit one of the more unusual doubles of the season in Thursday night's 5-4 loss to the Rays, as he crushed a high drive off left-hander Drew Smyly that hit the "B" ring at Tropicana Field and remained in play for an RBI double.
With two out in the third and Brian Dozier at first base, Sano smacked an 0-1 fastball to left-center that would have been a homer, but instead hit the catwalk. Dozier scored from first on the play, while Sano held at second base.
It turned out to be a big play, as the Twins lost by a run, but manager Paul Molitor said the rules were properly applied and they were just on the wrong side of the quirks of Tropicana Field.
"It is kind of what it is," Molitor said. "I'm sure over time, they've concluded the ground rules that are in place are best suited for the facility that they have. You have to abide by them sometimes. Sometimes they go your way and sometimes it doesn't. I guess you can say we're lucky we got a run because if they catch it, we get zero, which is kind of crazy. But it's been that way for a while and you have to live with it."
It would have been a homer according to Statcast™, as the ball left Sano's bat at 111 mph and was projected to travel 409 feet from the plate. It also had a launch angle of 29 degrees.
"I hit the ball pretty good and I thought when I hit the ball it was gone," Sano said. "But I hit the catwalk and that's the rule."
Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.