Astros' Baker upset by Grandal's controversial baserunning
The Chicago White Sox staged an epic comeback during Game 3 of the American League Division Series to stay alive against the Houston Astros, though they benefitted from a controversial baserunning play by Yasmani Grandal.
After retaking the lead in the fourth inning, Grandal hit into a fielder's choice and reached on a throwing error by Yuli Gurriel. The Astros first baseman's throw home hit Grandal, who was running inside the baseline toward first, and Luis Robert scored to extend the lead to 8-6 after the White Sox trailed by four runs the previous inning.
"Clearly, he was running inside (the baseline)," Astros manager Dusty Baker said, according to MLB.com's Rhett Bollinger. "That's interference, you know, in itself. That was a big play because we didn't get an out. They scored a run and that was a big play in the inning. I was arguing the fact that, especially him being a catcher, he knows what he was doing. That was a smart play on his part, and that was the explanation that they gave me: that they didn't see anything wrong with the play."
Astros starter Zack Greinke immediately signaled that Grandal ran inside the baseline and Baker exited the dugout to argue the play, as well.
Ultimately, the umpiring crew ruled Grandal didn't interfere, and the White Sox eventually won 12-6 to cut their ALDS deficit to 2-1.
"We decided that there was no interference because on that play the ball was hit to the infield, and then coming back to the plate," crew chief Tom Hallion said. "That 45-foot lane does not even come into play. It's the batter establishing his basepath. When he came out of the box and started running he didn't veer off, he didn't throw up his shoulder. He did nothing intentional to get hit with that ball. So, we all agreed, and that's why we came out to Dusty and told him that it's not interference."
Grandal played a crucial role earlier in the game, too, hitting a two-run homer in the third inning.
Game 4 of the ALDS, originally slated for Monday, was postponed until Tuesday afternoon due to rain in Chicago.