Davis hit on hand, but play ruled strikeout

Davis hit on hand, but play ruled strikeout

BOSTON -- In an unusual situation on Friday night, Indians outfielder Rajai Davis was hit by a pitch against the Red Sox, but he was charged with a strikeout.

During the fourth inning of Cleveland's 4-2 victory, Boston right-hander Clay Buchholz sent a 1-2 changeup tailing inside to Davis, who began to swing at the offering. By the time the outfielder stopped the forward momentum of his bat, the baseball hit low on the handle, striking the fingers on Davis' right hand.

"I committed to swing. Therefore it was a strikeout," Davis said. "I thought I checked it up. I think it's a call that can go either way. It was a tough break. Fortunately for me, my finger is fine."

Davis hopped around in pain and jogged down to first base, where Indians manager Terry Francona and a team trainer checked on his condition. Once Davis was deemed fine, he and his manager huddled with all four umpires on the infield grass down the first-base line to discuss the play.

Francona said he was talking with crew chief Jim Joyce about how, if at all, he could challenge a call in that type of situation.

"Jimmy Joyce was explaining to me the whole thing, and I didn't have a problem with his explanation at all," Francona said. "I was just trying to ask him, and ask them, what my options were if the ball had hit the bat. That's where we just had a little bit of confusion. I don't think the ball did anyway, but there was just some confusion in either the way I was understanding it or the way they were explaining it."

Following a lengthy conversation -- one that elicited some boos from a Fenway Park crowd that was growing impatient -- it was ruled that Davis struck out. In the view of the umpires, Davis' bat traveled far enough to be considered a swing. Since he was hit by a pitch in the act of swinging, the call was a strike, rather than a foul ball.

"It's not just a foul ball. It's an out," Francona said. "I understand it."

Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.