PHOENIX -- The Padres on Sunday withdrew their protest of Saturday's 6-5 loss on a bases-loaded, 10th-inning walk to the D-backs at Chase Field. They filed a protest because Miguel Montero, who was on second base, didn't touch third on the climactic four-pitch walk to Lyle Overbay off Joe Thatcher, San Diego's sixth pitcher, who had just entered the game. Montero went directly into the celebration. "We're withdrawing the protest, based on talking with [general manager Jed Hoyer], the coaches and we talked to the umpires after the game," Padres manager Bud Black said before the finale of the four-game series on Sunday. "Looking at the rulebook, it became apparent the protest would not be upheld."
Major League Rule 4.09(b) explicitly says that when a bases-loaded walk ends a game, only the batter has to touch first and the runner on third has to touch home. The other runners aren't forced to touch their bases. Black was told this by crew chief and plate umpire Tim Welke, who immediately made a report to his MLB superiors. Geoff Blum was the runner on first and Justin Upton was on third. "I'm telling you I touched second and Lyle touched first and I know that J-Up hit home," Blum said after the game. "But I know for a fact that Miguel Montero did not touch third. I saw it happen." For his part, Montero had little to say on the matter. "I don't care. We won the game. That's all I have to say," Montero explained. Black said on Sunday that he based the protest on a similar situation that occurred a few years ago to the Padres. At the time, they were warned by the third-base umpire that the runner forced from second base by the walk had to touch third base. "We wanted all runners to touch their bases," Black said. D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said on Sunday that he was aware of the rule, but that Montero obviously wasn't. "No, he didn't know," Gibson said. "He got almost to third and just veered off. Everybody else did it. Miggy took a lot of [guff]. I mean, come on. We all know you're supposed to run to the next base. We love his enthusiasm and he was enthusiastic in taking this [stuff]. "He learned a lesson. I wrote it on the back of my card. We'll make sure next Spring Training we cover that."
Barry M. Bloom is national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.