TAMPA, Fla. -- The minor leagues' new extra-inning rule led to a bizarre victory for the Clearwater Threshers on Monday night.
Clearwater took advantage of a rule introduced this season that places a runner at second base at the start of each extra inning to cut down on marathon games. The rule has been criticized by baseball traditionalists. On Monday, it made it possible for Tampa to lose despite a nearly perfect game.
Yankees prospect Deivi Garcia opened with seven perfect innings in a scheduled seven-inning game, but the scoreless contest went to the eighth.
Christian Morris replaced Garcia for the eighth, and Clearwater immediately advanced its runner, Luke Williams, to third base on an error. Two batters later, Williams scored on Daniel Brito's groundout to first.
Tampa went down in order in the bottom of the eighth.
The extra-inning rule was part of commissioner Rob Manfred's initiatives to boost the pace of play. Manfred has said the rule is unlikely to be implemented in the majors.