Under what conditions can a run be scored on a play that results in a 3rd out for the team? I was under the impression that if a 3rd out happens, all runs that might have scored before time during that at-bat are invalid, but apparently there is more to it than that.
If the 3rd out is the result of a force-out (example: bases loaded, batter hits to the third baseman, third baseman steps on third base before runner reaches), then the run from third base will not count.
If the 3rd out is the result of gunning for extra bases (example: bases loaded, batter hits past third baseman, batter reaches first and goes for second, left fielder throws to second baseman who tags out the batter before he reaches 2nd base), then any run scored (given the runner has reached home before the batter was tagged out) will count as the batter reached first base.
If the 3rd out is the result of tagging up (example: runner on 1st and 3rd, batter hits sacrifice fly, outfielder catches the ball for the out, runner on 3rd reaches home, runner on 1st goes for 2nd but gets tagged out), then the run from 3rd base will count because the out at 2nd was not a force-out only if the runner from 3rd base touches home plate before the out at 2nd is made.
Rule 4.09 of MLB’s Official Baseball Rules of 2012 states:
4.09 HOW A TEAM SCORES.
(a) One run shall be scored each time a runner legally advances to and touches first, second, third and home base
before three men are put out to end the inning.
EXCEPTION: A run is not scored if the runner advances to home base during a play in which the third out is made.
(1) by the batter-runner before he touches first base;
(2) by any runner being forced out; or
(3) by a preceding runner who is declared out because he failed to touch one of the bases.