Nava's blunder turns to wonder as Angels tie

Nava's blunder turns to wonder as Angels tie

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Daniel Nava and Stefen Romero each notched multiple hits on Tuesday, then were thrust in the middle of a bizarre play during an eventual 4-4 tie between the Mariners and the division-rival Angels at Tempe Diablo Stadium.

Nava went 2-for-3 to raise his Cactus League batting average to .619, but miscounted the number of outs in the fifth inning. The veteran outfielder settled underneath a Kyle Seager flyball that he thought resulted in the third out, prompting him to toss the baseball beyond the left-field fence.

Spring Training info: Angels | Mariners

Romero was thus allowed to advance from first to third base with two outs, except for one problem: Romero didn't realize he had to officially "tag up" from before doing so.

Angels manager Mike Scioscia called for an appeal at first base, and Romero -- who went 3-for-4, putting his Cactus League batting average at .480 -- was called out.

Nava was able to laugh about it.

"We've been working on that play a lot this spring," Nava said, with tongue firmly in cheek. "I skipped a lot of the beginning math classes in California. Obviously I didn't stay up on my accounting. But my daughter, she'll teach me tonight how to count to 10. Or to three."

Nava's daughter is 2 1/2 years old. It was the first time he could recall losing track of the number of outs.

"At least it was a Spring Training game," Nava said, "and at least hopefully it won't happen during the season. But that's terrible. It can't happen."

The Angels and Mariners were tied at 3 when the play took place.

Scioscia on tie

Angels starter Andrew Heaney pitched three innings of one-run ball, scattering five hits, striking out one and walking none in his second Cactus League start. Cody Martin started for the Mariners -- replacing Wade Miley, who threw in a Minor League game so he wouldn't face the Angels a second time -- and gave up two runs on six hits in three innings.

Korean first baseman Dae-Ho Lee, competing for a spot off the bench, put the Mariners on the board with an RBI single in the top of the first and Nava came back with an RBI double in the bottom half. Kole Calhoun singled home Mike Trout, who's batting .455 this spring, in the third and former Angels outfielder Daniel Robertson laced a two-run double in the fourth to put Seattle ahead by one.

Robertson's two-run double

Nava tied the game with an RBI single in the fourth and both teams scored in the ninth.

Dario Pizzano hit a solo homer off Cory Rasmus in the top half and Geovany Soto tied the game with a sacrifice fly in the bottom half, scoring Craig Gentry.

Soto's sac fly

Afterward, that fifth-inning play remained prominent.

"That was crazy," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "I've seen a lot of games and never seen that play. I thought when the umpire called time and awarded him third base that he was good to go, but you've got to play it and run the bases properly and he never went back and tagged up. So that was the issue."

Servais on strange play, tie

Scioscia, very much a rules savant, immediately knew the runner needed to tag up.

He remembered something similar happening to then-Montreal Expos outfielder Larry Walker at Dodger Stadium in 1994, settling under a Mike Piazza flyball and then handing it to a kid before realizing it wasn't the end of the inning.

"It's a really strange rule," Scioscia said.

Nava expected Scioscia to give him a hard time about it in the morning meeting on Wednesday.

"He'll have the whole night to ponder what he's going to tell me," Nava said. "I'm not sure what it is, but it's going to all be pretty funny."

Mariners Up Next: Veteran right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma makes his third Cactus League start on Wednesday in a 1:10 p.m. PT game against the Giants at Peoria Stadium. The Mariners' No. 2 starter has allowed just one hit and one walk in five scoreless innings this spring. Lefty Mike Montgomery will get his first action out of the bullpen as he begins converting to a relief role. The game will be available on MLB.TV.

Angels Up Next: Nick Tropeano takes the ball, opposite right-hander Cody Anderson, when the Angels travel to Goodyear Ballpark to face the Indians at 1:05 p.m. PT on Wednesday. If Jered Weaver doesn't begin the season on the disabled list, Tropeano will have to win the fifth spot in the Angels' Opening Day rotation. The 26-year-old right-hander has given up three runs on four hits and a walk in 4 2/3 innings thus far.

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and Facebook , and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.