How Does Scoring Work In Baseball?

Baseball Scoring

Baseball is a sport of hits, runs, and innings. Although some of the terms and concepts may seem complicated, scoring in baseball is very simple. Keep reading to learn more about scoring in baseball.

Baseball Scoring

In baseball, players score by hitting the ball and running the bases all the way back to home plate. Teams get nine innings to score before a winner is decided. If the score is tied after the ninth inning, they will go to extra innings.


Baseball inning

In baseball, there are two halves in an inning, the top and the bottom. Each team is only able to score during their half of the inning, so they receive nine chances per game. The road team hits in the top half of the inning, and the home team hits in the bottom half. When a team is not hitting, they have nine position players who defend, called fielders. Within each of these innings, both teams get three outs before they stop hitting and have to defend. Each at-bat is a duel between the pitcher and the batter.

Extra Innings

If the game is tied after nine innings, the two teams play extra innings until one team scores more runs. Extra innings are baseball’s form of overtime. In extra innings, each team continues to alternate batting and fielding. If the away team takes the lead in the top half of an extra inning, the home team will have a chance to tie or score more runs during their turn to bat in the bottom half. However, if the home team takes the lead in the bottom half of an extra inning, the game instantly ends because the road team will have no remaining opportunities to score before the inning ends. Game-ending hits in the bottom of the ninth and extra innings are known as walk-off hits.

Pitchers and Batters

Baseball pitcher

Usually, batters play nearly the entire game, with the exception of substitutes. On the other hand, starting pitchers (pitchers who start the game off) are swapped out and replaced with relief pitchers who are specifically chosen for different scenarios. An example of this is that a left-handed pitcher may be substituted into the game in place of a right-handed one to face a left-handed batter, since that matchup benefits the pitcher more often than not.

The batters attempt to accumulate baserunners through either hits, walks, hit-by-pitches, or by causing the defense to commit an error. Once baserunners reach base, they try to safely reach second base, third base, and eventually home plate, where they score a run.


Baseball baserunning

Baserunners can move from one base to another in a variety of ways. The most traditional way to move runners over is through hits. Hits are categorized into four main categories: singles, doubles, triples, and home runs. While there are different ways to get each type of hit, the number of bases a hitter reaches immediately after they get a hit is indicated by the name. For example, a double is when a hitter reaches second base safely after they hit the ball.

Players can also move from base to base by stealing a base or having teammates move them over with hits, walks, or sacrifices. Errors can also allow runners to advance bases, and if the pitcher were to commit a balk every base runner would get to advance one base. A balk is when a pitcher makes an illegal movement on the mound prior to throwing the pitch.

Home Runs

Baseball home run

The quickest way to score in baseball is by hitting a home run. A batter gets a home run when they either hit the ball over the fence or they simply go around all the bases while the ball is still in play. A home run that doesn’t go over the fence is known as an inside-the-park home run. A batter gets a solo home run when they hit a home run with no baserunners, they get a two-run homer when there is one baserunner, they get a three-run homer when there are two baserunners, and they get a grand slam when the bases are loaded. Home runs are not an easy feat, and the MLB’s league MVPs will often range between 30-50 for the entire 162-game season.

Batting Averages

Batting averages are calculated by dividing a player's hits by their number of at-bats. While hits are more common than home runs, they can still be hard to come by. Getting a hit on 30% of at-bats can make a player an all-star in the major leagues. The greatest batters in baseball history are those who are able to hit for a high average and also hit a large number of home runs at the same time. Baseball games can, at times, be high-scoring, but teams usually score between four and five runs per game. 

Baseball Scoreboard

Baseball Scoreboard

Baseball scoreboards are very unique in that they show what happened during each inning, as well as the cumulative number of runs scored, hits, and errors for each team. Baseball scoreboards feature the road team in the top row and the home team in the bottom row. Along the top of the scoreboard, there are numbers indicating each inning. Under each inning label, the scoreboard displays the number of runs each team scored within that specific inning.

To the far right, past the end of the inning labels, there are “R,” “H,” and “E” labels. The “R” label represents the number of runs scored by each team over the entirety of the game. The “H” represents each team’s total hits, while the “E” is used to demonstrate each team’s total errors. Lastly, the scoreboard typically shows the number of the batter and hitter, as well as the current ball count, strike count, and the number of outs, often through the use of lit circles.


How do runs work in baseball?

In baseball, the team that scores the most runs wins the game. A run is scored after a player reaches each base safely and crosses home plate. Usually, a team will score between four and five runs in each game, so each run is extremely valuable. To prevent the other team from scoring, pitchers are often substituted into the game to provide for the best matchups with batters. The quickest way to score a run is through a homerun.

How do you score in baseball?

Scoring in baseball can only be done in the hitting team’s half of the inning. The first step to scoring is getting on base. This can be done through getting a hit, the defense committing an error, a batter being walked, or the batter being hit by a pitch. Once a player reaches base safely, they can advance by stealing a base or via a teammate moving them over. Once a player reaches all three bases and crosses home plate safely, they score a run. A player scores immediately with a homerun.

What are the basic rules of baseball?

Baseball is a sport where two teams compete to score the most runs. Each game is nine innings, and each individual inning has two halves. In the top half, one team hits and the other team defends, and in the bottom half the teams switch roles. The game is played via at-bats, essentially a one-on-one battle between the pitcher and batter. If the pitcher and his defense are able to get three outs, the inning ends. If a batter acquires three strikes, they get a strikeout. When batters hit, they must hit the ball into the field of play, which encompasses every part of the field between the foul lines.

How do you hit a home run in baseball?

To hit a home run, a batter must score from their own hit. Usually, this will be done by the batter hitting the ball straight over the outfield fence. The ball must be hit between the two foul poles to count as a home run. Another way to hit a home run is through an inside-the-park home run. This takes place when a ball is hit onto the field of play, and the hitter is able to reach every base and cross home plate safely. However, it is not considered a home run if a fielder makes an error.