Dodgers News: Miguel Rojas, Dave Roberts Share Perspective On Ryne Stanek Balk

Trailing by four runs entering the seventh inning, the Los Angeles Dodgers began to rally against the Houston Astros, which was capped off by a balk call to give them a decided lead with two outs in the eighth.

David Peralta started the Dodgers’ comeback with a two-run home run in the seventh inning. A sacrifice fly from Jason Heyward and RBI ground-rule double from James Outman tied the game and put runners on second and third base.

With Miguel Rojas at the plate, Ryne Stanek came set and started to move his back leg before stepping off the mound, which prompted second base umpire Junior Valentine to call a balk, allowing Jonny DeLuca to score the game-winning run.

“It looked like he was trying to come set and maybe deliver the pitch, but he changed his mind and wanted to call time or step off,” Rojas said. “I feel like any time the pitcher starts his motion and doesn’t complete it until he gets set to step off, I feel like that’s what happened.

“It felt like it was weird. The second base umpire called the balk, but I didn’t know if he was calling time or balk. It’s a good break for us. It happened to us earlier in the year when (Phil) Bickford kind of did something like that.”

Rojas threw his hands up in the air after the call was made, and pointed out to the pitcher before signaling DeLuca home. “I pointed it out because the home plate umpire did say something like timeout,” Rojas said.

“Then I said no, he’s calling balk. It’s not time, it’s a balk. We were doing whatever we can to score that run.”

After the inning ended, Stanek and Astros manager Dusty Baker argued with the umpires, which led to both the pitcher and skipper being ejected from the game.

In the other dugout, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was happy to see the correct call made, even if it was not the ideal way to score the run in that spot.

“It was a balk. He got it right,” Roberts said. “Obviously in a game like that, you don’t want that to be the deciding run in that situation, but they got the call right.

“I think Stanek was looking at the pitch clock and maybe trying to step off or call timeout, and his cleat got stuck. But it was a balk by the letter of the law, so we’ll take it.”

Balk a sign Dodgers turning rough patch around

The Dodgers have had a tough month of June, playing below .500 ball, but after four consecutive wins against the Los Angeles Angels and Astros, Roberts believes his club is getting back on track.

“It is a sign,” Roberts replied when asked if the balk is further indication the Dodgers are on the upswing. “Baseball is a tough game. It’s tough to win a big league ballgame.

“To get some breaks to go your way, you need that. Any team that’s playing well and winning baseball games, you’re going to need some breaks. I wouldn’t say we caught a break with the balk, but those breaks are nice.”

Have you subscribed to the Dodger Blue YouTube channel? Be sure to ring the notification bell to watch player interviews, participate in shows and giveaways, and stay up to date on all Dodgers news and rumors!