Souza's leaping grab robs Papi of extra bases

Souza's leaping grab robs Papi of extra bases

BOSTON -- Rays right fielder Steven Souza Jr. helped Jake Odorizzi with damage control in the first inning of Thursday afternoon's 12-8 win over the Red Sox at Fenway Park.

Odorizzi had already surrendered a two-run homer to Dustin Pedroia and a double to Xander Bogaerts when David Ortiz stepped to the plate with no outs. The count reached 3-2 when Ortiz pulled a wicked drive to the right-field corner that appeared headed for extra bases.

According to Statcast™, the ball came off Ortiz's bat at 103.2 mph. Souza managed to track it down and leapt in the the air to rob Ortiz. Souza looked remarkably athletic on the play, hitting a top speed of 16.3 mph in 2.6 seconds.

"He crushed that ball," Souza said. "I got a good jump on it. I just really wanted to make a play for O, trying to get it going in the right direction. And I just took a leap. I didn't think I had a good chance to catch it, but I got up high enough and I'm thankful I was able to save a run."

The Red Sox scored five times in the first, but the damage could have been worse for Odorizzi if not for Souza's grab.

Bill Chastain is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.