5/3 What happened last night …

Manager Mike Quade hopes to have a better understanding of what happened in the fifth inning after reading the rule book Monday night. It’s Rule 6.06 (c), if you’re interested.

Rod Barajas doubled to open the Dodgers fifth. One out later, James Russell thought he’d struck out Clayton Kershaw, but Kershaw was safe on what was ruled a wild pitch on the third strike. The ball did get away from catcher Geovany Soto when Kershaw’s bat hit the ball. Home plate umpire Jerry Meals said Clayton was safe at first.

“I’m reading the rule book now,” Quade said. “I can’t imagine you can have a bat in your hand after a swing when the catcher blocks the ball and that the bat could hit the ball and it wouldn’t be a dead ball.”

Quade asked Meals to confer with the other umpires but he would not.

“Nothing wrong happened in the umpire’s judgement,” Quade said.

Rule 6.06 states a batter is out for illegal action when: (c) Comment: If a batter strikes at a ball and misses and swings so hard he carries the bat all the way around and, in the umpire’s judgement, unintentionally hits the catcher or the ball in back of him on the backswing before the catcher has securely held the ball, it shall be called a strike only (not interference). The ball will be dead, however, and no runner shall advance on the play.

Meals said Kershaw was not holding the bat when it made contact.

Back to the inning: Jamey Carroll then bunted toward the mound and Russell scooped up the ball and was able to toss it in time to Soto as the pitcher belly-flopped on the grass. But Sands followed with a double into the gap in right center, driving in both runners, to go ahead, 4-1. Sands advanced on Marlon Byrd’s errant relay throw. Andre Ethier then bounced an infield single to shortstop Starlin Castro, driving in Sands and extending his hitting streak to 28 games.

– Carrie Muskat

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