David Murphy and the Cleveland Indians experienced the worst kind of bum luck on Tuesday night against the Cincinnati Reds.
In the seventh inning, Cleveland's Yan Gomes drove a double to right field. But as Cincinnati outfielder Jay Bruce retrieved the ball and fired it to the cut-off man, a second ball came rolling onto the field. Apparently reliever Jumbo Diaz had been warming in the Reds bullpen when he airmailed his practice pitch over the catcher's mitt and onto the field.
Murphy, who had his back turned after running from first to third base, saw the rogue baseball in the outfield grass as he strayed too far off the bag. He was promptly picked off by Reds shortstop Zack Cozart, who had had the official ball in his mitt. Indians manager Terry Francona argued the call on his baserunner's behalf, but acknowledged after the game that the umpires got it right in spite of the errant ball.
"They can't kill the play until the conclusion," said Francona, via Fox Sports Ohio. "I understand the rule. The umpires understood my frustration but there's nothing we can do...It was unfortunate and kind of flukey but that's how it goes."