HOUSTON -- The Angels played Thursday's series finale at Minute Maid Park under protest, because manager Mike Scoscia argued Astros skipper Bo Porter wasn't allowed to make two pitching changes before the first reliever fired an official pitch.
However, since the Angels came back to win, 6-5, the protest is essentially a non-factor. If a protest is upheld, which hasn't happened since 1986, a Major League game is replayed from the point of the protest to the end. That, however, only happens if the decision "adversely affected" the losing team's chances.
With two on, two outs and the Angels trailing, 5-3, in the top of the seventh, Porter subbed right-hander Paul Clemens with lefty Wesley Wright, with left-handed hitter J.B. Shuck due to bat for the Angels.
However, after Wright threw his warm-up pitches and Porter saw the right-handed-hitting Luis Jimenez on deck to pinch-hit, Porter made another pitching change, going to righty Hector Ambriz before Wright fired a pitch. Scioscia was furious, got in a long argument with the umpiring crew and informed crew chief Fieldin Culbreth that the Angels would play the rest of the game under protest.
Rule 3.05(b) states: If the pitcher is replaced, the substitute pitcher shall pitch to the batter then at-bat, or any substitute batter, until such batter is put out or reaches first base, or until the offensive team is put out, unless the substitute pitcher sustains injury or illness which, in the umpire-in-chief's judgment, incapacitates him for further play as a pitcher.
Wright didn't appear injured, and Scioscia eventually used lefty hitter Scott Cousins, who flied out against Ambriz to end the inning.
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.