Underrated speed part of Lawrie's game

Underrated speed part of Lawrie's game

Underrated speed part of Lawrie's game

BOSTON -- Brett Lawrie is known for his work with the bat and glove, but it was his speed that played a major role in Saturday night's 4-2 victory over the Red Sox.

Lawrie sparked a rally with an improbable infield hit to third base with two outs in the fourth inning. At the time, it didn't seem like much, but Lawrie's single was enough to keep the inning alive and eventually led to three runs.

Adam Lind quickly followed with an RBI double while a pair of two-out singles by Moises Sierra and Rajai Davis then gave Toronto all the offense it would need. Lawrie's single would have been easy to overlook, but in this case, it made all the difference.

"It was just one of those plays where you have to get down the line," Lawrie said. "I'm just doing what I usually do, always just for that chance, and there it was. It doesn't come around all that often but I'm going to keep going down the line just like that, and it ended up working out for us."

Lawrie's slow grounder to third looked like it was going to lead to an out, but Boston infielder Xander Bogaerts double-clutched the throw. That provided Lawrie with enough time to get down the line, and he was ruled safe by umpire Eric Cooper in a close play at first.

Bogaerts seemed shocked at the play and stared at first base for several seconds after the call. He apparently underestimated Lawrie's speed.

"You have to make him make a play, but I also saw that it was a little bit to his left," Lawrie said. "It looked like he had to go to get it a little bit and then I tried to get to first as quick as possible, and thankfully it worked out."

On the surface, Lawrie appears to be having a down year, but following an injury-plagued first half, he has performed as expected since the All-Star break. He entered play on Sunday hitting .292 with 19 extra-base hits and a .774 OPS in the second half and has once again started living up to his lofty expectations.

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.