Adam Duvall, the Atlanta Braves outfielder who is quietly putting up league-leading numbers, had a homerun taken away last night because of a baserunning blunder.
In the first inning, Duvall ripped a line drive to left-center, a shot that would have been his 38th dinger of the season. The ball, however, ricocheted off of Diamondbacks center fielder Jake McCarthy’s glove before clearing the fence, prompting a moment of confusion on the base paths.
The problem occurred when Braves teammate Austin Riley, who was originally on first base, darted back towards first base once the ball hit McCarthy’s glove. Riley thought McCarthy had caught the ball and needed to tag up, unintentionally passing a trotting Duvall halfway between second and first.
Even though the ball had cleared the fence, Duvall had technically passed the baserunner ahead of him—a big “no no” in baseball. Riley and Freddie Freeman, who was also on base at the time of the homer, were allowed to score, but Duvall was called out as a result of Riley’s confusion. All told, the play was scored as a two-run single, with a fielder’s choice out at second for Duvall. He still earned the two RBIs and a hit, but not a home run, even though the ball cleared the fence.
“As a hitter or runner, you have to be aware of that,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said after the game. “When you have a runner in front of you, you can’t [pass] him. Probably, Austin got a little carried away coming back. That’s just part of baserunning, and you have to be aware of that. I don’t think it’s a bad rule at all.”
The Braves went on to win the game 9-2 and maintain an all-important three-game cushion in the NL East over the Phillies. With 12 games left in the regular season, the Braves still have a scheduled series against the Padres, Mets, and Phillies remaining.