Beer cans fly in Toronto as Rangers score on live ball deflection

The Associated Pres

We just had an odd and ugly scene in the top of the seventh inning of this decisive ALDS Game 5 at Toronto’s Rogers Centre.

With the game tied at 2-2, Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor hit a leadoff single against Blue Jays reliever Aaron Sanchez and made it to third base after a Chris Gimenez sacrifice and a Delino DeShields groundout. Odor then raced home when a return throw from Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin struck the bat handle of Shin-Soo Choo, who was hitting at the time with two outs on the board.

Home plate umpire Dale Scott waved the play dead before Odor crossed the plate for the go-ahead run — you could hear Scott shouting “no, no, no” on the replay — but the ball remained alive and in play and the umps (correctly) awarded the tally after a short conference.

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The rule that covers this would seem to be Rule 3.15, which handles unintentional interference. It states:
In case of unintentional interference with play by any person herein authorized to be on the playing field (except members of the offensive team participating in the game, or a coach in the coach’s box, or an umpire) the ball is alive and in play. If the interference is intentional, the ball shall be dead at the moment of the interference and the umpire shall impose such penalties as in his opinion will nullify the act of interference.

The awarding of that run set Rogers Centre into a frenzy, with half-full beer cans being launched onto the turf from the upper deck. Some of those cans landed on fans in the lower bowl, including some young children.

The umps did a rule check with New York and the run did stand. Blue Jays manager John Gibbons promptly issued an official protest. We’ve got a wild one.