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‘There’s nothing you can do:’ Alex Cora, Jarren Duran lament inside-the-park grand slam in epic loss to Blue Jays

Jarren Duran's miscue in center field, when he allowed an inside-the-park grand slam when he lost a fly ball in the lights, led to a historic 28-5 loss for the Red Sox at Fenway Park on Friday night.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

Fenway Park saw its fair share of history Friday night, but unfortunately for the quickly falling 48-46 Boston Red Sox, none of it went in their favor.

In their first game back from the All-Star break, the Red Sox suffered a brutal 28-5 beatdown to the Toronto Blue Jays.

In the third inning, Toronto’s Ramiel Tapia hit the first inside-the-park grand slam of the majors since 2017. Tapia drilled a fly ball to his counterpart center fielder Jarren Duran, who charged forward in a complete miscalculation of the ball’s location.

“From the get-go when he hit the ball I saw his reaction and I thought ‘He didn’t see that ball,’” said manager Alex Cora. “There’s nothing you can do.”


After he made contact, Tapia appeared disappointed, expecting a fly-out to mark the end of the inning.

Instead, the ball fell several feet behind Duran and when its location was finally clear, the rookie centerfielder stared at it as Lourdes Gurriel, Santiago Espinal, Danny Jansen, and Tapia raced around to give the visitors a 10-0 lead.

When asked why he didn’t chase after the ball, Duran said left fielder Alex Verdugo was already there.

“Obviously, I should have taken a step or two, but he was already going to beat me to the ball so I just didn’t want to get in his way. What if I sprint into him and collide with him, or something like that?” Duran said.

“Next time I know to take one or two steps but he was already going to beat me to the ball,” he said.

Cora said the players talked through the mishap afterwards in the dugout.

“Obviously he expects Jackie [Bradley Jr.] and Alex [Verdugo] are going, but at the same time you got to go [after the ball] too,” Cora said. “That was a conversation between players, and sometimes that voice is louder than a manager in those situations.”


Duran, however, said he did not talk to anyone after the play.

“Most helpless feeling you could ever feel,” said Duran. “Until you guys catch a fly ball in twilight, let me know.”

Tapia’s slam came off a 77 mile-per-hour slider from Austin Davis — his first pitch of the night. Davis replaced starter Nate Eovaldi, who pitched 2⅔ innings, allowing eight hits and two walks and surrendering nine earned runs.

The Blue Jays would add four more off Davis in the fourth to make for a seven-run inning. Toronto later topped that with a 11-run performance in the fifth.

Tapia is the second Blue Jay to record an inside-the-park grand slam. In 1989, Junior Felix made it happen for Toronto, also at Fenway Park.

The 28 runs scored by the Blue Jays are the most scored against the Red Sox in franchise history, beating the previous record of 27 set in 1923.

In the last three games, the Red Sox have allowed 55 runs and have a -47 run differential, the worst since 1900, according to ESPN.

Jayna Bardahl was a Globe intern in 2022. Follow her on Twitter @Jaynabardahl.