LOS ANGELES (AP) — Matt Kemp called it "very weird." Chase Headley described it as a "crazy occurrence."
Nearly everyone was shaking their heads after the Los Angeles Dodgers turned a bizarre triple play in the top of the ninth inning before Dee Gordon singled home the winning run in the bottom half of a 5-4 win over the San Diego Padres on Sunday.
It was 4-all when the Dodgers turned their first triple play since June 13, 1998, against Colorado.
Chris Denorfia led off with a single against Javy Guerra (1-0) and Headley walked. Jesus Guzman squared to bunt, but the pitch came high and tight and hit his bat as he backed away.
The ball landed in front of the plate and catcher A.J. Ellis alertly picked it up and threw to third.
"I was very confident I heard it hit the bat. I didn't hear anything from the umpire behind me," he said.
Guzman, startled by what happened, didn't run to first base, which made it easy for third baseman Juan Uribe to relay to shortstop Gordon at second base. In turn, he threw to James Loney to complete the triple play.
"As soon as I got the ball to Juan and nobody was running I said, 'This is going to be a triple play,'" Ellis said. "They were sure it was a foul ball and we were sure it was a bunted ball."
Padres manager Bud Black came out to argue with plate umpire and crew chief Dale Scott, who ejected him.
"It happened so fast," said Black, who thought he heard two sounds when the ball hit the bat. "It sounded funny."
He came into the clubhouse and watched a replay.
"There's not many times where a ball headed for the face turns into a triple play," Black said. "I looked at the take, and it was a fair ball."
Headley saw Scott's hands go up and believed the umpire was signaling that the ball hit the bat, then hit him in the batter's box, making it a foul ball.
"When he throws his hands up like that, it's supposed to be a foul ball. I told him that five times. He said that he was just trying to get out of the way," Headley said. "He wasn't just sticking his hands up. He waved them, and to me, that means foul ball, regardless of whether it hit him or didn't hit him. That's irrelevant."
Scott told a pool reporter that the umpiring crew didn't see the ball hit the batter.
"It was off the bat and then straight down," he said. "We saw several angles, including the replay here and we also called in and asked for the replay from New York and looked at that. The ball went straight down and I thought it hit the bat. I heard bat.
"I moved out of the way of the catcher, and now all of sudden, I have two bodies in front of me. I didn't see where the ball was. I saw it trickle in front of the plate. Without having seen it hit, I have to assume that's a fair ball."
First base umpire Bill Miller confirmed that the ball was momentarily foul before it rolled fair again.
Scott said as long as the ball isn't touched it's fair.
"There was nothing verbal (from the umpire), so I just picked it up and started throwing," Ellis said. "You keep playing and don't assume anything."