Dylan Floro’s flinch finished the Dodgers on Saturday night.
The reliever moved his back leg and separated his hands before stepping off the rubber with the bases loaded. First base umpire Andy Fletcher called him for a balk, which forced home Cameron Maybin with the winning run in a 5-4 Mariners 10-inning victory.
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A walkoff balk is one of the rarest occurrences in baseball. Reports late Saturday said Floro’s was the 22nd in MLB history.
Floro was reacting to Maybin bluffing a steal attempt down the third base line. He and Dodgers manager Dave Roberts argued to no avail.
Roberts said after the game that a replay appeared to support Fletcher’s call.
#Dodgers Dave Roberts on balk call: “It was close. It was borderline. But Andy (Fletcher, 1B ump who made the call) got it right. There was a flinch after he came set.”
Roberts, Honeycutt, Turner, Floro and others all went back and watched the replay after the game.
— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) August 19, 2018
The victory allowed the Mariners to keep pace with the A’s and Astros in the American League West. Third-place Seattle is 3 1/2 games behind both teams.