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  How to read a baseball box score

No matter which newspaper you read in the morning, you will find baseball box scores with numerous abbreviations. What used to be 'R,' 'H,' and 'E' for 'Runs,' 'Hits,' and 'Errors' is now much more elaborate. While box scores in each newspaper may be slightly different in how much information they have, here are many of the abbreviations you will find and what they all mean.


AB - this is the number of official AT BATS a player has in the game. Sacrifices and walks do not count as official at bats. Fielder's choices and errors do.
R - the number of RUNS a player scored in the game.
H - the number of HITS a player had in the game.
RBI - the number of RUNS BATTED IN a player had in the game.
BB - the number of BASES ON BALLS (walks) a player had in the game.
SO - the number of times a player STRUCK OUT in the game.
LOB - the number of runners a player or team (depending on where in the box score it is located - next to the player's name or under the team summary) LEFT ON BASE.
AVG - the player's batting AVERAGE after that game.
2B - players that hit DOUBLES in the game.
3B - players that hit TRIPLES in the game.
HR - players that hit HOME RUNS in the game.
SB - players that STOLE A BASE in the game.
SF - players that SACRIFICED in the game. This includes sacrifice bunts and sacrifice flies.
E - players that committed ERRORS in the game.
HBP - players that were HIT BY A PITCH in the game.


IP - number of INNINGS PITCHED by a pitcher.
R - number of RUNS given up by a pitcher.
H - number of HITS given up by a pitcher.
ER - number of EARNED RUNS given up by a pitcher. These are runs the opponents scored that were the responsibility of the pitcher. Any runs that scored as a result of a fielder's error would not be earned runs.
BB - number of BASES ON BALLS (walks) allowed by the pitcher.
SO - number of STRIKE OUTS by the pitcher.
ERA - the pitcher's EARNED RUN AVERAGE after the game. This is figured by taking all of the earned runs a pitcher has given up this season, multiplying that by 9, then dividing that total by the total number of innings the pitcher has pitched this season.
L - found next to the name of the LOSING pitcher in the game.
W - found next to the name of the WINNING pitcher in the game.
S - found next to the name of the relief pitcher that SAVED the game.
Some box scores will also have numbers next to some stats. For example, next to '2B' you may find 'Johnson (23).' That means Johnson hit a double, and it was his 23rd double of the year. Or next to 'HR' you may find 'Smith 2 (14).' That means Smith hit two home runs in the game, and now has 14 for the season.
Different newspapers may have slightly different box scores, but these are the standard abbreviations that you will find in any baseball box score in papers all across the country.

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