Infield Fly Rule and bunting

I was at the Red Sox - Angels game on Friday night (&#$@ Gange) and saw a play that confused me. With a runner on first and one out the batter bunted. It popped up and the pitcher, catcher, and 3rd baseman all could have easily caught the ball. Lowell (3rd base) called them off, let the ball drop on purpose, and threw to second base for the force out. I think he was hoping the batter would slack off on the run to first and he could have gotten a DP.

Wouldn’t the IFR have been in play anyway? Or does it not come into play on a bunt?

From here (emphasis added):

Also, since you said there was only a runner on first, the IFR would not have been called in this instance even if it wasn’t a bunt. It is designed to prevent the fielders from getting an “unearned” double play (which can’t happen with only first occupied if the batter/runner is running hard to first).

Right, you need two runners for the IFR to be in affect. But even so, the bunt attempt would have ruled that out. Thanks.

I haven’t read the rule book for about 30 years but I seem to recall that the infield fly rule used to be based on whether the fielder was set under the pop-up and facing home plate.

Is it possible that the rule has been re-written since then?

From the link upthread:

Nothing in there about facing home - just has to be “easily handled”.

Another conceivable motivation for the play is if the batter was a much slower runner than the current runner.

As it turns out the batter ran hard to first and it was a non-issue. They never even made the throw to first