Runs Batted In

When a batter hits the ball and a runner scores on the play, he is usually awarded a Run Batted In (RBI). Certain conditions need to be met and there are exceptions as outlined in scoring rule  10.04.

These are the basic points to keep in mind:

  • credit the batter with an RBI for each run that scores on a play started with the batter hitting the ball EXCEPT
    • if there was an error on the play
    • the batter grounds into a force double play (or a reverse force double play)
  • credit one RBI if with the bases loaded, the batter is awarded first base without hitting the ball (i.e., via a walk, hit by pitch or  catcher’s interference )
  • credit the batter with RBIs if an error is made on a play, but the run(s) would have scored anyways without the error (e.g., runner on 3rd nobody out and infield playing back.  Hitter grounds to shortstop who throws to 1st base conceding the run.  The throw is wild and batter ends up on 2nd.  Give the batter a reach on error, and the RBI).  Note that the number of outs is important in these types of situations.  If there were already 2 outs, then no RBI, as the run would not have scored without the error.
  • If a runner scores due to a fielder holding the ball or throwing to a different base, credit the RBI only if the runner was running towards home the whole time.  If he appeared to only be going to 3rd and decided to run home when the throw went to a different base, then score it as a fielder’s choice.
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  1. Robert Hliboki

    If a player hits a single then with one out the next batter reaches 1st base on an error. The man on 1st base goes to 3rd so we have 1st and third and one out. Next batter hits a sacrifice fly scoring a run. Does the batter get credit for an RBI

  2. Absolutely! The run may or may not be earned to the pitcher depending on what else happens, but the batters gets credit for the RBI regardless of what errors happened prior to his at bat.

  3. Erik Hastrup

    This has happened to me a few times in Modified pitch Softball:Bases are loaded,I swing at a pitch,and the catcher interferes.I am awarded FirstBase,it is scored E-2 with an RBI no charged at bat though…..Am I Correct???Thanks

    • Yes (assuming scoring rules in softball same as baseball). No at bat for catcher’s interference (see this post showing how CI is scored), but you still get an RBI as per Rule 10.04(a)(2): “credit an RBI to a batter whose action at bat causes one or more runs to score…by reason of the batter becoming a runner with the bases full (because of a base on balls, an award of first base for being touched by a pitched ball or for interference or obstruction)

  4. Andrew Haynes

    Does the type of double play matter? I believe the official MLB rules specify ground ball double play (or something like that); what happens if a batter hits a fly ball with runners on second and third, both tag, the run scores but the trailing runner is thrown out? Normally it would be a sac fly & RBI, but does the double play cancel the RBI in that situation?

    • No, you are correct. Rule 10.04 (b) (1) says “The official scorer shall not credit a run batted in
      when the batter grounds into a force double play or a reverse-force double play”. So in your situation, the batter would still get the RBI. (By the way you just need to click the link above that says “Scoring Rules” to read the official MLB scoring rules.)

  5. If there are runners on 1st and 3rd and 1 out and the second baseman makes an error do I get an rbi and no at bat because it would have been a sac or not because it was a possible double play?

    • You get an RBI. The scorer cannot assume a double play is going to be completed. However it is still an at-bat (fielder’s choice), and no sac. (unless this play was a bunt).

  6. Is a passed ball and runner scoring from 3rd during at bat does it count as a RBI for batter?

    • No. Rule 10.04 (here) has the conditions for giving a batter credit for an RBI. Summarizing it, the batter needs to hit the ball or be awarded first base with the bases loaded to get an RBI. There are many situations where runs score without anyone getting an RBI.

  7. 1 out runner on 3rd. Pop up in foul territory which is caught by the catcher who falls into the dugout and the runner is awarded home. Would the batter get an RBI?

  8. Question about a sacred fly and an rbi.
    1 out….bases loaded.
    Fly caught in cf. …runners tag up.
    Runner from 3rd scores….runner from 2nd is out at third…..3 outs.
    Does batter get an rbi….because runner scored before the 3rd out was recorded?
    Also does batter get charged an At bat?

    • Ah yes, the infamous “sacred” fly! (Sorry, I make typos too, just this one cracked me up). Yes, the batter gets an RBI because he did get a sacrifice fly that knocked in a run (the only time a batter does not get an RBI when a run scores, is if he GROUNDS into a double play). The batter does not get charged an at bat, as it is a sacrifce fly.

  9. runner scores on a passed ball. Then you get a hit. Do you
    get an RBI?

  10. In the 9th inning of the Angels/Astros game tonight (9/21), the Angels had runners on 1st and 2nd with 2 outs. Cowgill gets a single, runners appear to be headed to third and home respectively. Runner headed to home (Murphy) rounds third, holds up briefly to go back, sees the other runner (Perez) coming to third, so breaks for home and scores, beating the tag. Cowgill is not awarded an RBI.

    Usually a single with a runner at second scores a run and gives the batter an RBI, so why is this case different? Is it because the runner was thinking about holding up or is there another reason for this? No one appears to have gotten credit for the run – no error, no advancing on the play, at least according to the box score and play by play.

  11. How about if a batter hits a triple.
    Then on the next throw to the next batter it’s a passed ball and the runner on third scores.
    Who gets credit for an RBI?

  12. john holdbrooks

    Got a runner on third. Ball hit to third. Third throws home and is safe. Does the batter get charged with an at bat and rbi? I think this is correct. John

    • Yes. AB and RBI. IF you think the 3rd baseman only threw home because he had no chance at getting the batter out at first, then he can also get credit for a base hit. But more likely it’s a fielder’s choice.

  13. What about this? Bases loaded, batter hits into fielder’s choice up the middle, but 2 runs score. Is it ruled as an at bat (fielder’s choice) with 2 rbi’s?

  14. Pirates harrison hits a flyball to cf, the runner from 3rd scores. During that play, polanco tagged at 1st base, was thrown out at 2nd, which would be a doubleplay. The rule states no rbi on a double play.
    In the stats, harrison was granted a rbi.
    What is the ruling and why ?
    Thanks

    • This is a common scoring misperception. In fact, someone just asked about it on twitter recently. The wording of the rule is actually “not credit a run batted when the batter grounds into a force double play or a reverse-force double play”. I will update the wording on this page to reflect that. It’s not no RBI on any double play (which may be what this page may have implied).

  15. Runner on third. No out/1out. Batter grounds out. Runner on third scores on the play. Full swing, no bunt attempt. Is this an rbi

    • Yes. Rule 10.04(a)(1) says “..credit the batter with a run batted in for every run that scores unaided by an error and as part of a play begun by the batter’s safe hit, sacrifice bunt, sacrifice fly, infield out or fielder’s choice…”

  16. I’m trying to figure out how to do ERA’s. I understand so part of the rule but no the whole thing. Lets say the error happened on the first batter of the inning and they score 5 runs before the 3rd out is made when does the pitcher started getting charged again in that inning

    • To determine how many runs were earned, you need to “reconstruct” the inning assuming the error didn’t happen. So, if the first batter of the inning ends up scoring, that run is not earned because without the error he wouldn’t have been on base. Any runs that score after there are 2 outs are not earned, because there should have been 3 outs by then. Example: Batter 1 reaches on error. B2 hits a 2 run home run. B3 and B4 strike out. B5 hits a home run. B6 gets out. Only 1 run is earned, because without the error we would have had: B1 out, B2 HR, B3 out, B4 out, end of inning. Sometimes errors do not affect earned runs. For example, if the leadoff batter gets a hit into the outfield, and the fielder lets the ball go through his legs to the wall and batter ends up on 3rd base, there is an error. But if the next batter hits a home run, both runs are earned, because even without the error the leadoff batter would have still scored. One of these days I’ll update the Earned Runs page.

  17. how about wild pitches and passed balls

    • Is your question in relation to earned runs, or RBIs? As far as RBIs, nobody gets one if somebody runs home on a WP or PB. For earned runs, you recreate the inning without the passed balls, but keep the wild pitches in there.

  18. auntiefran413

    Tonight’s (4/25) Cardinals/D’backs game, Owings struck out and was thrown out Catcher to First. Is Owings awarded an RBI on a strikeout??

  19. Batter reaches first on BB next batter hits home run. Does the batter collect 2 rbis and how many runs are earned?

  20. I apologize if this is the wrong place to ask this, but is a run always awarded if a runner at 3rd leaves 3rd early on a sacrifice fly but the defensive team never makes an attempt to tag 3rd base?

  21. Scott J. Scudder

    Runner on first, no outs. Next batter hits a shot to the gap in right center. CF picks up the ball and throws to second. As the batter easily slides into 2nd (and the slow runner at first reaches third) the throw from CF glances off the 2B’s glove and rolls halfway between the mound and third base. Both runners then break for 3rd and home, respectively. The pitcher picks up the ball and fires to third. The batter/runner is tagged out by the 3B. The runner who was at third scores easily. Does the batter get an RBI? I know he gets a double. And is the ensuing out at third scored 8-4-1-5 or just 1-5, since he didn’t break until after the throw was not caught cleanly by the second baseman?

  22. One out, man on 3B, dropped 3rd strike has the C throwing to 1B where the runner is safe (or out, does not matter?). man on 3B scores on the throw to 1B. Is the batter credited with a RBI? Is this considered a FC?

  23. credit the batter with an RBI for each run that scores on a play started with the batter hitting the ball EXCEPT
    if there was an error on the play
    the batter grounds into a force double play (or a reverse force double play)

    So my question is, with bases loaded and no outs, on a double play with the runner from 3rd scoring,
    Does the pitchers era get dinged??

    • Runners on second and third one out. Batter grounds to short runner from third scores but runner on second gets thrown out trying to advance to third for the second and the hitter winds up safe at first. Is there an RBI credited to the hitter?

    • Yes. A batter getting an RBI or not is independent of the pitcher’s ERA.
      Similar to a runner from 3rd scoring on a wild pitch… nobody gets an RBI, but pitcher is still charged with an earned run.
      edit: in reply to Paul’s question further above

  24. what about if there’s a Wilde pitch and the runner on 3erd scores does it count as an rbi for the batter

  25. Odd play Rangers vs. Indians tonight. 1st and 3rd one out and Beltran grounds to 1B, 2 slow runners and easy DP ball but Naopli sails throw to 2B into CF. RBI for Beltran?

  26. Bases loaded one out,…9/2 Tigers vs royals,…JD Martinez,…ground ball to short,…run scores VMart out at 2nd, JD safe at first. FC, rbi? Didn’t get it.

    • It’s a FC because KC recorded a force out (VMart at 2nd), so JD doesn’t get credit for a hit. It’s an RBI because he did drive in a run (the runner from 3rd). Is there a specific thing about the scoring you don’t understand and want me to expand on?

  27. You can actually go look at the full play by play and JD did NOT get an RBI and I don’t understand why he didnt.

  28. they have corrected,…took several innings to do it tho. Thanks for your time.

  29. A batter reaches on an error the next guy up singles the next guy after him singles and the runner who reached on the error scores does the batter that got the second hit get an RBI there’s one out

  30. Second batter in the lineup reaches on an error by the catcher next batter hits a single moving him to Third next batter hits a single scoring the guy that reached on an error does the fourth batter get an RBI for hitting in the guy that reached on an error

  31. Runner reaches base on error, which would have been the third out. Next batter hits home run, does the home run count as E.R.?

    • No. Neither the home run nor the run that the previous runner scored are earned runs. To determine earned runs, the inning is re-constructed without any errors. Once the 3rd out would have been made, any subsequent runs are unearned. The only exception is if a relief pitcher comes in, then he is not given the benefit of previous outs. i.e., in your example, if i relief pitcher comes in the game and gives up the home run, that run IS an earned run to him. (And by the way, to follow up on the previous questions, the batter who hit the HR gets 2 RBI regardless)

  32. So, bases loaded, no outs.
    Batter hits to left field.
    5-2 play, but the catcher missed the catch, and the run is scored.
    Batter gets to 1st.
    Runner who is now on 3rd sees the dropped ball behind the catcher and steals home.
    I think that the first run scored is an RBI as even if they had thrown out at 1st, the run would have scored.
    How about the 2nd, which is a result of an error on the same play?

    Also, does the batter get a 1B hit, or is it marked as FC for throwing to home instead of 1st?

  33. Cahlea Drescher

    Question,
    If bases are loaded, and it’s the bottom of the 9th and the batter hits a walk off hit, how many RBI’s is he awarded? Such as in the Cards/Cubs game last night. I know they only get one run awarded, obviously haha, but how many RBI’s would Grichuk get? Just one?
    Thank you

    • Yes, just 1, or as many as needed to take the lead. (If they were down by a run, he could get 2 RBIs). The only exception is on a home run, then all runs and RBIs count.

  34. Scott Schultz

    Runner on third. Batter walks, rounds 1st and gets in a pickle. Runner on third scores. Does the batter who walked get the RBI?

  35. If there was an error on the play?
    Hitter reaches base on error. Next batter homers. Credit 2 RBI but only ONE earned run.

    • Exactly. The RBIs are what the hitter gets credit for, and it doesn’t matter how the previous batters reached base, so he deserves 2 RBIs. The earned runs are a way of counting what a pitcher should be charged for, so in this case just the 1 earned run.

  36. Love the blog so far! I read thru about 90% of this page but didn’t see this scenario which happened in softball yesterday. Bases loaded, 1 out. Batter grounds to shortstop, who fires to 2nd for the forceout, and then fires to 3rd for a tag play, but the runner engages a run down to allow the original runner at 3rd to score. So a double play but includes a tag play. Obviously no HIT, the question is whether the batter gets an RBI since he def didn’t have time for a regular DP (softball, so shorter bases). Thanks!

  37. Should a batter get an rbi if there’s less than 2 outs and they hit a ball on the ground that the fielder misses even though the run would have scored anyways?

    • How would the run “have scored anyway” if there were 2 outs and we assume the fielder would have gotten a force out at 1st (or another base if was feasible)? Unless, it were a tapper back to the mound and the only reasonable play would have been a quick shovel home if not for the error…

    • Yes. For example with nobody out and a runner on 3rd, if the batter hits a ball to the 2nd baseman playing deep, and he muffs it and the batter is safe, score it a reach on error, and an RBI (as he would have gotten the RBI without the error anyways)

  38. I got on first because of a ball that got past the first baseman from a throwing error. There was a guy on first and he ran all the way to third. I ran to second since the ball got past the first baseman and when they threw the ball to get me out the other runner ran straight through third and went home. Is that an rbi?

    • No RBI. RBIs are based on what would have happened without any errors. It sounds like without the throwing error, the runner would not have scored, therefore no RBI.

  39. I think I have a good one that almost anyone knows the answer to so thought I would share.

    One out, bases loaded. Batter pops up between shortstop and right fielder. It drops. Runner from 3rd scores for a walk-off. The team charges to celebrate batter who is on 1st. However, runners on 1st and 2nd did not advance. Ball is thrown to 3rd and 2nd for a double play. What’s the result? Team still walks-off? Or side-out?

    After you think about this, take a look at this news article:

    https://t.co/DZSHsqMwNr

    (specifically the last 6 paragraphs and then view the video of the runner who remains on 2nd)

    Thoughts?

    • This is very similar to a bases loaded walk off situation. Note that there are different rules that apply to this situation between MLB,NCAA, High School and Little League rulebooks. Anyhow, there is a very good rules discussion of a similar event here: http://www.closecallsports.com/2017/05/ask-uefl-game-ending-appeal-force-play.html Note the wording of the NFHS (high school) rule: “A run is not scored if the runner advances to home plate during action in which the third out is made as follows…when a third out is declared during a play resulting from a valid defensive appeal, which results in a force out (this out takes precedence if enforcement of it would negate a score).” So, this should have been a valid double play, and the run should not have scored.

  40. 2 outs
    Runners at 2nd and 3rd
    Ball is a ground ball hit to 3rd baseman who fields it quickly and cleanly and does not throw to 1st for 3rd out but catches runner on 2nd in a rundown and overthrows it 2nd baseman all runners are safe and run scores from 3rd.
    How is this scored?

    I scored it as E5 no RBI and unearned run

    What if he got him out at 2nd and run scored before out was recorded? Would the run still be unearned even though third out was recorded and is it still recorded as E5 or FC

    • Your scoring was correct. If he got him out and the run scored, then there is no error, it is an earned run, and the batter would get credit for an RBI and a FC.

  41. Anthony A. Vogler

    Bases loaded, one out batter flies out, runners at 2nd and 3rd tag. Defense throws ball to 3rd to see if he left early, he is called safe, they throw the ball to 2nd, runner is called out for leaving to early. Does the run count even though it’s a double play ending the inning?

    • Yes it does. Runs only don’t count if the batter-runner makes the 3rd out at 1st base, or if it’s a force play on any other runner. An appeal for leaving early is not a force play, it is a time play, therefore the run counts.

      • Thanks

        On Jun 10, 2017 6:46 PM, “Baseball Scoring Rules” wrote:

        > Ruben Lipszyc commented: “Yes it does. Runs only don’t count if the > batter-runner makes the 3rd out at 1st base, or if it’s a force play on any > other runner. An appeal for leaving early is not a force play, it is a time > play, therefore the run counts.” >

  42. This might not be considered a scoring question but you guys seem to know about this type of thing. In the Indians-Yankees game tonight the Indians’ DH was injured on a play in which he was called out (on replay). He was assisted off of the field in a manner which made it clear that he would not be returning to the game. The question concerns the manager’s responsibility in this situation. Does the manager have to declare a new DH immediately or can he wait until the next time the DH comes to bat even if the original DH is on his way to the hospital (preserving his opportunity to play lefty righty)?

    • He does not have to declare a replacement until his turn in the lineup comes up again. Similarly, if it was a position player, he does not need to declare his replacement until the end of the half inning when that player would need to come in on defense. The only exception, is that if a player is removed from the game due to an ejection, then his replacement must be listed immediately, even if that player might not ever play (e.g. DH ejected in top of 9th inning).

  43. This happened on July 18, 1999
    Florida Marlins at Boston Red Sox
    Top of the 3rd inn. Pedro Martinez pitching

    Castillo doubled to left
    Gonzalez singled to right Castillo to third

    Aven reached on a throwing error by the Catcher J.Varitek, Castillo scored (no RBI) Gonzalez to third

    Millar singled to left, Gonzalez scored, Aven to second

    Kotsay grounded into a double play 6-3 with Aven taking third, Millar out at second

    Wilson doubled to left, Aven scored
    Hyers popped to SS

    Official Scorer has all 3 runs scored as Earned.
    I believe this is a mistake since Aven reached base on an error?
    Does the DP have anything to do with reconstructing the inning differently?

    Thanks, bj

  44. While I have done a lot of scoring, I do not consider myself a professional scorer. Being the off season, this post has not had any action in a week so I thought I would venture an opinion.

    I personally don’t see any way that you can reconstruct the inning to make the run scored by Aven to be earned. This assumes that the third paragraph assumption of Aven reaching first base is actually a result of the catcher’s error. With runners on first and third, there are a lot of ways a catcher can get an error and some of them don’t involve Aven reaching first because of the error. For instance, the play could have been one of a ball right in front of the plate where the catcher thought he could get the runner from third going back to the base. His throw could have gone into left field allowing the runner to score and the runner from first to advance. In this case the catcher would get an error but although the batter reached first on a play were there was an error he didn’t reach first because of the error and it would be shown as a fielder’s choice. I don’t think that type of error would give rise to any of the runs being unearned. One would clearly see this if looking at the scorers scorebook but I am not sure that it could be determined from the box score.

    Just my thoughts but I wonder how a play that occurred 18 years ago could generate this type of question.

    • I got the info off of baseball-reference.com in the scoring summary. They don’t have it as a fielder’s choice and E2, just E2 only. I thought of the scenario that you mentioned trying to get another runner.
      I had been looking at Pedro Martinez’ season that year and noticed that in that game he gave up a lot of runs. Two were unearned. I looked through the scoring summary and thought for sure this was one of them but it wasn’t. The two UR’s happened in another inning. I was just curious and wondered if someone might see something I didn’t that I might apply in the future.

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