Rodriguez strikes out on 4-2 pitch
Angels don't notice mistake and have no course for appeal
DETROIT -- Yes, it even can happen in the Major Leagues.
Angels second baseman Sean Rodriguez actually struck out in the fourth inning on Thursday at Comerica Park on a 4-2 pitch.
With the Angels leading, 6-0, on their way to a 7-1 victory, home-plate umpire Tim Welke reset the count at 1-2 when the scoreboard showed 2-2 after consulting with Rodriguez and Tigers catcher Brandon Inge.
Rodriguez took two balls to take it to a 3-2 count officially -- when he should have walked. He remained in the batter's box, and on the next pitch, Tigers right-handed reliever Aquilino Lopez struck him out for the second out in the inning.
"It's probably my fault more than anyone's," Rodriguez said. "I wasn't sure. He pointed to reset the scoreboard. Inge said it might be 1-2, and I said it might be also."
The oversight cost the Angels a potential big inning. After Rodriguez struck out, Gary Matthews Jr. stroked a double to the right-center-field gap that would have scored the fleet Rodriguez from first. Robb Quinlan followed with a single, and Mark Teixeira flied out for what would have been the second out if not for the strikeout.
It was confirmed by frame-by-frame television reviews that Lopez did, in fact, throw four balls and Rodriguez should have taken his free pass.
Since the Angels didn't catch the mistake, there was no course for appeal.
"It's something that slipped by," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He [Welke] reset the count at 2-2 to 1-2. We missed it. That's embarrassing."
Scioscia said he's seen it happen before.
"Guys reset counts all the time," he said.
Tigers manager Jim Leyland said he wasn't aware of it at the time, adding, "That's a new trick of ours."
Inge, who wasn't aware it had happened after the game, said he remembered Welke asking about the count, and hearing Rodriguez say he thought it was 1-2.
Rodriguez said Welke apologized the next time the Angels rookie came up to bat in the sixth inning.
"I told him, `Don't even worry about it.' It's probably more my fault than his," Rodriguez said.
Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.