Crew chief Sam Holbrook and umpire supervisor Charlie Reliford were made available to reporters after Game 3, with Holbrook producing his copy of the 2021 MLB Umpire Manual.
“It's item 20 in the manual, which is, balls deflected out of play, which is in reference to official baseball Rule 5.06(b)(4)(H). It says, ‘If a fair ball not in flight is deflected by a fielder and goes out of play, the award is two bases from the time of the pitch.’”
Holbook added: “Once that ball hit the wall, it was no longer in flight. Now the ball bounces off the wall and is deflected out of play off of a fielder. That’s just a ground-rule double. There’s no ‘He would’ve done this, he would’ve done that.’ It’s just flat out in the rule book. It’s a ground-rule double.”
The rules also provide no umpire discretion as to runner placement. As such, Díaz was returned to third base, to be stranded there when Pivetta struck out Mike Zunino. The Rays challenged the runner placement, which was confirmed by replay.
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