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Confusing call actually just ball four

Confusing balk call actually just ball four

HOUSTON -- Some official scoring confusion occurred in the Braves' half of the second inning Saturday night when home plate umpire Jeff Nelson was prepared to call a balk on Roy Oswalt as he faced Adam LaRoche.

On a 3-1 count and with Andruw Jones on first, Oswalt threw a pitch that LaRoche took. Nelson immediately made a signal that had many in the press box thinking a balk was called. Instead, what actually happened was since the pitch was ruled a ball, LaRoche technically walked, advancing Jones to second.

Had a strike been called, Nelson would have ruled a balk, advancing Jones to second, while the count would have remained 3-1 on LaRoche.

According to the penalty phase of Rule 8.05: The ball is dead, and each runner shall advance one base without liability to be put out, unless the batter reaches first on a hit, an error, a base on balls, a hit batter, or otherwise, and all other runners advance at least one base, in which case the play proceeds without reference to a balk.

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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