A few weeks ago in a game between the Pirates and Brewers a ball hit up the middle deflected off the foot of the umpire. The ball continued into center field and a run scored from second base. The Pirates weren’t too happy, however, when the runner was sent back to second base.
“It’s one of those things that happens in games,” manager John Russell told the Pirates’ website. “Sometimes it helps you, sometimes it hurts you. It’s not like they’re trying to be in the way. They’re out on the field. The biggest thing is you hope it doesn’t hurt them.”
Rule 6.08 d states that a batter who hits a fair ball that strikes an umpire prior to reaching a fielder—other than the pitcher—is entitled to first base. If the ball hits an umpire after passing a player then play continues.
Rule 10.05 a5 tells the official scorer that the play is the same as if a fair ball were to hit a base runner. Dead ball and an automatic single—only when the umpire is struck with the ball there is obviously no out.
Another game this season where the ump was hit—this one allowed the Red Sox to avoid grounding into a double play.