Rio Gomez first home pitching appearance at the Triple A level started with a bang.
Gomez, a 36th-round pick out of Arizona by the Red Sox in 2017, is the son of longtime ESPN baseball reporter Pedro Gomez, who died of a heart attack on Feb. 7, 2021.
The younger Gomez has been working his way through Boston’s minor league system for the past six years, beginning this season at Double A Portland. He was called up to Triple A Worcester earlier this month and made his first start against the Louisville Bats on June 3. He got his first chance to pitch in front of the home fans in Worcester on Thursday night and made one of the most unusual defensive plays you’ll ever see.
In the top of the first inning, veteran Matt Adams hit a comebacker right to Gomez, who stuck out his glove to snag it. The ball knocked the glove off of Gomez’s hand, but as the leather tumbled to the ground, the ball flew out and Gomez was able to corral it with his bare hands for the out.
Gomez had a so-so start, allowing two runs on five hits in 3 1/3 innings of work. Regardless, it was a special night for him. His start happened to fall on WooSox’s Cuban Heritage Night, which held extra significance for him as his father was the son of Cuban immigrants. On top of that, Gomez’s mother made a surprise trip from Phoenix to be in Worcester for his start.
“It’s hard to ask for any more for it to get any better than that,” Gomez told Tommy Cassell of the Telegram & Gazette after the game.