A save is awarded to the pitcher who finishes a game for the winning team in a baseball game, provided the following criteria are met:

  • The pitcher cannot be the starting pitcher in the game — he must have come on in relief of another hurler.
  • The pitcher must finish the game, and his team must win the game (as stated above).
  • The pitcher is not the winning pitcher (the hurler who gets statistical credit for the victory).
  • The pitcher must record at least one out against the opposing team.
  • At least one of the following are true:
    • The pitcher enters the game with a lead of no more than three runs and pitches at least one inning.
    • The pitcher enters the game with the tying run in the on-deck circle, at-bat, or already on the bases.
    • The pitcher pitches at least three innings to finish the game.

See the MLB Rule Book for more baseball rules.