It was the strangest play of a strange afternoon.
And Gleyber Torres was front and center in the middle of it.
Trailing 5-3 in the bottom of the eighth, Torres led off the inning with a single against righty Ryan Pressly. After Mike Ford struck out, Aaron Hicks roped an infield single off the glove of a diving Carlo Correa, who was on the right side of second base. Third baseman Alex Bregman, shaded toward second, never went back to third and Torres easily took third. Seeing catcher Martin Maldonado had abandoned his post — Maldonado made his way toward third — and furthermore seeing that Pressly wasn’t inclined to cover the plate, Torres took off for home and easily scored to make it 5-4.
"Always when I’m on [first] base I have a lot of conversations with Reggie," Torres said of first-base coach Reggie Willits. "He always tells me to check the defense . . . I ran to second and saw Bregman on the base so I saw I had an opportunity to move to third. I know Maldonado was trying to cover the base [third] and I remembered when I came into second base, I saw the pitcher staying on the mound. So in that moment I knew nobody was at home plate. I just kept running."
Torres said he saw on tape that third-base coach Phil Nevin actually held up the stop sign as he made his way to third, but he didn’t see it in real time.
"I feel like, in that situation, an exciting moment, I just try to score," Torres said with a smile. "Thank God I did."
Aaron Boone said Torres being an infielder likely helped him map out things as they unfolded.
"Obviously, as an infielder he knows, he’s aware of, shifts and different predicaments you can get yourself in on some different balls," Boone said. "So an incredibly heads-up play by Gleyber."