Everything went right for the Royals on the key play in their game against the Rays at Kauffman Stadium, except for the final result.
As Tampa Bay's Adeiny Hechavarria tried to score from second on a single to right field, Jorge Soler made a great throw and Salvador Perez was in good position at the plate. However, Hechavarria avoided Perez's first tag attempt, then found himself in no-man's land behind the plate.
But Hechavarria managed to slip a hand on the plate ahead of Perez's tag, giving the Rays a 2-1 lead, and that ended up being the final score of the game.
Hechavarria, through team interpreter Manny Navarro, told Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times: "That was pure instinct. I went in thinking going in to slide, but he was right there kind of blocking the plate. So I went around and I was going to put one hand in and I saw he was going to put one hand there, so I flipped and put the other hand in there just in time.''
Here is the play (from the Rays Twitter account):
Some people on social media wondered why Hechavarria wasn't ruled out of the base path.
Here is what the Major League Baseball rulebook says about base runners. Rule 5.09b: "Any runner is out when: (1) He runs more than 3 feet away from his base path to avoid being tagged unless his action is to avoid interference with a fielder fielding a batted ball. A runner’s base path is established when the tag attempt occurs and is a straight line from the runner to the base he is attempting to reach safely."
Hechavarria was never more than 3 feet away from the plate on the play, so he wasn't ruled out.