The Tampa Bay Rays lost to the Cincinnati Reds by a score of 2-1 in 10 innings on Friday night, and the decisive play came on a walk-off balk committed by reliever Matt Wisler. Wisler committed the violation with one out and runners on the corners just prior to delivering his 1-2 pitch to Tyler Naquin.
After calling the balk, home plate umpire Edwin Moscoso waved home Mark Kolozsvary, who had entered the game as a pinch-runner for automatic runner Mike Moustakas, with the winning run. Here’s a look:
According to Rays manager Kevin Cash, both Moscoso and second base umpire Lance Barrett said the balk was called because Wisler flinched.
The walk-off balk was the first called against the Rays in franchise history. It’s also the first walk-off balk in MLB since Dylan Floro’s for the Dodgers in a 5-4 loss at Seattle on Aug. 18, 2018. The Reds have won on a walk-off balk only once before, back in 1965. According to ESPN Stats & Info, this marks the 23rd walk-off balk in the last 100 years.
Prior to such a rare ending, starting pitchers were the story of this game. The Rays’ Shane McClanahan, who’s in the mix for the starting nod in the All-Star Game, lowered his ERA for the season to 1.73 by allowing one earned in six innings of work. Across the way, Luis Castillo allowed one run in seven innings for the Reds. He now boasts an ERA of 2.92. The 29-year-old changeup artist figures to be one of the hottest names leading up to the Aug. 2 trade deadline.