Umpires Didn't Call Infield Fly Rule in Bizarre Athletics-Rangers Double Play

Screengrab via NBC Sports California

The Oakland Athletics turned an interesting double play to get out of a seventh-inning jam Thursday during their 1–0 win over the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Field.

With one out and runners on first and second base, Rangers infielder Jared Walsh hit a pop fly just past the mound. A's second baseman Zack Gelof came racing in and attempted to make a sliding catch, but he dropped it.

The two Rangers baserunners stayed by their bags, likely thinking that Gelof would catch it or the umpires would enforce an infield fly rule. But no infield fly rule was called, so reliever Austin Adams picked up the ball and flipped it to third baseman Abraham Toro for one out. Toro threw to second for a force out to end the inning.

Your classic 4-1-5-6 double play.

Per the MLB rulebook, an infield fly is "any fair fly ball (not including a line drive or a bunt) which can be caught by an infielder with ordinary effort when first and second or first, second and third base are occupied, before two men are out."

There's an argument to be made that Gelof sliding to try to make the catch qualifies for more than "ordinary effort." But there's another argument to make that right off the bat, it certainly looked like a pop up worthy of an infield fly call.

MLB fans quickly put on their umpire gear to weigh in on the controversial play:

The A's improved to 5–8 with the win over their division rival Rangers, who dropped to 7–6 overall and 5–5 at home.

Tom Dierberger


Tom Dierberger is a writer and editor for the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated. Tom joined SI in 2023 after stints at FOX Sports, Bally Sports, and NBC Sports. In his spare time, Tom can be seen throwing out his arm while playing fetch with his dog, Walter B. Boy.