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Or so he thought.
The Pirates third baseman hit a solo home run down the right-field line off Dodgers starter Walker Buehler, apparently giving Pittsburgh an early 1-0 lead. Umpires took their time to make the call after the ball hit the foul pole, but ruled it a home run by the time Hayes had rounded second base.
Ke'Bryan Hayes neglects one critical step
But a Dodgers challenge and replay review revealed that it was in fact not a home run — and not because the ball didn't clear the fence. Hayes forgot to execute an elementary tenet of baseball. He didn't touch the base when he rounded first.
Umpires reversed the home run ruling and called Hayes out instead. It was a tough blow for the Pirates and their red-hot (.348 batting average) third baseman who thought he'd hit his third home run in just his seventh game of the season.
Instead, he committed one of the bloopers of the baseball season for a last-place (23-35) Pirates team. And it got worse for Hayes from there.
Another base-running mistake from Hayes
During the third inning, Hayes once again got the work done with his bat. He reached first base on a single to centerfield. But once again, his base running proved costly. In the next at-bat, Pirates centerfielder Bryan Reynolds hit a fly ball to left field that AJ Pollock caught for the second out of the inning.
Hayes tagged up to second base. He made it in time, but fell off the bag, where Chris Taylor tagged him for the final out of the inning. And with that, Hayes stood mistakes at third base and home plate away from the wrong kind of cycle.
Hayes not alone in rescinded home run
If there's any solace for Hayes on Tuesday, it's that he wasn't alone in losing a home run. Kansas City Royals prospect Bobby Witt Jr. had a similar experience in a Double-A game between his Northwest Arkansas Naturals and the Frisco RoughRiders.
His second home run of the night gave the Naturals a 6-3 lead in the fifth inning. That is until catcher Frisco Matt Whatley appealed to the home plate umpire that Witt missed the plate. Whatley then stepped on the plate with the ball, and the umpire ruled Witt out, taking the home run off the board.
But did Witt actually miss the plate? Or did Whatley talk the umpire into a bad call?
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes wasn't sure, either — and took to Twitter to try to figure it out.
According to Witt, though, there's no question about it.
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