ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- To the surprise of absolutely no one who saw it, Ryan Kalish’s catch Saturday night was the No. 1 “play of the day” on ESPN's SportsCenter.
The Red Sox rookie center fielder ran a fly pattern before going airborne to catch B.J. Upton’s liner into the right-center field gap in the second inning, rolling into a somersault and coming up on his feet for good measure. No catch, and the Rays would have scored at least one run, since there was a runner on first at the time.
“Unbelievable,’’ Red Sox right fielder J.D. Drew said of the play. “I thought the ball was by him. I thought it was a run for them. And it was an unbelievable landing. It was incredible to be running that fast and flip and pop up. He was going so fast he almost fell back over.
“I’m just excited for the kid. He’s fired up to be part of the game. He hustles, he plays every pitch hard, and when he makes a catch like that you can see how excited he was. I got a big smile. He flips over, comes up, he’s excited, he almost falls down.
“I said, ‘Kid, that is ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous.'’’