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Under what conditions can a run be scored on a play that results in a 3rd out for the team? I was under the impression that if a 3rd out happens, all runs that might have scored before time during that at-bat are invalid, but apparently there is more to it than that.

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what about this: With runners on second on third, the ball is hit to the third baseman. It bounces off the third baseman directly to the Shortstop who then throws back to the third baseman who tags the runner from second attempting to reach third base. The runner from third touched home plate prior to the out being recorded however it was a continuous play. –  Doug Oct 22 '14 at 23:41
This should be a separate question. –  wax eagle Oct 22 '14 at 23:59
It's also completely answered by ed's answer. "Continuous play" has no meaning in baseball. –  Joe Oct 24 '14 at 15:07

3 Answers 3

up vote 8 down vote accepted

If the 3rd out is the result of a force-out (example: bases loaded, batter hits to the third baseman, third baseman steps on third base before runner reaches), then the run from third base will not count.

If the 3rd out is the result of gunning for extra bases (example: bases loaded, batter hits past third baseman, batter reaches first and goes for second, left fielder throws to second baseman who tags out the batter before he reaches 2nd base), then any run scored (given the runner has reached home before the batter was tagged out) will count as the batter reached first base.

If the 3rd out is the result of tagging up (example: runner on 1st and 3rd, batter hits sacrifice fly, outfielder catches the ball for the out, runner on 3rd reaches home, runner on 1st goes for 2nd but gets tagged out), then the run from 3rd base will count because the out at 2nd was not a force-out.

As for myself, I would like to know the intricacies as well, and will update as I do more research.

Rule 4.09 of MLB's Official Baseball Rules of 2012 states:


(a) One run shall be scored each time a runner legally advances to and touches first, second, third and home base before three men are put out to end the inning.

EXCEPTION: A run is not scored if the runner advances to home base during a play in which the third out is made.

(1) by the batter-runner before he touches first base;

(2) by any runner being forced out; or

(3) by a preceding runner who is declared out because he failed to touch one of the bases.

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Maybe a follow-up question, but someone who gets tagged out at 2nd while trying to stretch a single into a double gets credited with a hit? –  Aaron Sep 21 '12 at 21:34
Unless if it's an error, I believe so. The batter reached first base on a hit. If the batter wanted to stretch it out but gets tagged out, I believe it still counts as a single. –  edmastermind29 Sep 21 '12 at 21:38
@Aaron yes, that's correct. They get a single. –  wax eagle Sep 24 '12 at 14:18
@edmastermind29 In the second case the run only counts if the runner reaches home prior to the last out being recorded. This sometimes will result in a runner intentionally getting into a rundown to give the runner heading home a few more seconds. –  wax eagle Sep 24 '12 at 14:19
The single was recorded when the runner reached first base. What happened afterward didn't change that. –  Tom Au May 27 '14 at 18:19

A simple way to think about this is to consider a "Force out" to mean the batter did not reach first base safely (and note, a force out in your batting average counts as an out). Then this is simple: runs may score if

  • The batter reaches first base safely
  • There are not three outs at the moment the run scores.

In order for a batter to reach first base safely, though, all other runners must advance to the next base as well. Why? If they don't reach the next base, they would have to retreat to the base they were on - at which point the batter would be called out (when two players occupy a base simultaneously, the trailing runner is ruled out). So a force out is really a way of extending this concept.

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Basically the run is recorded only if all the runners were "safe" initially. That is, a batter made it to first base (safe) while the runner on third came home, then the batter was tagged out trying for second base.

Or a fly ball was recorded for the second out. All baserunners (not counting the hitter) were safe initially. The third base runner tagged up and came home. A first base runner tagged up and was tagged out at second.

The last out must have been through a voluntary play of the runner, not a forced out.

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