Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers was on the wrong side of history during Boston’s Opening Day game against the Orioles.
Devers became the first MLB player to strike out on an automatic strike call from a violation of the league’s new pitch clock. The 26-year-old struck out as the leadoff hitter in the eighth inning as the Red Sox trailed the Orioles, 10–4.
Per the league’s news rule, a batter must be ready for the pitch or “attentive to the pitcher” with eight seconds remaining on the pitch timer. The two-time All-Star was looking down at his cleats and not set in the batter’s box when the clock hit the eight-second mark, prompting home plate umpire Lance Barksdale to make the call in violation of the rule.
Watch as Rafael Devers becomes the first player in MLB history to be called out because of a pitch clock violation. 😐— Codify (@CodifyBaseball) March 30, 2023
There's just not enough time to safely step out between pitches (even foul balls). pic.twitter.com/owm6v86aHJ
However, after the Devers miscue, Boston added three runs in the inning but eventually came up short in its comeback efforts, losing 10–9 to Baltimore on Thursday.
Devers finished the game with two runs, two hits, one RBI and two strikeouts in five at-bats.