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There is no set amount of batters a pitcher must face to be awarded a save.

MLB Rule 10.19 specifies the rules for awarding a pitcher a save:

1) The pitcher must be the final pitcher used by the winning team.

2) The pitcher cannot be the winning pitcher.

3) The pitcher must record at least one out.

4) One of the following three conditions must apply:

4A) The pitcher enters the game with his team ahead by three runs or less and pitches at least one inning.

4B) The pitcher enters the game with his team ahead and the potential tying run is either on base or one of the two batters he faces.

4C) The pitcher pitches at least three innings.

Examples:

1) A pitcher enters the game with two out in the ninth inning, his team is ahead 8-3, and the bases are loaded.

If the pitcher records the final out, he is credited with a save. Looking at the rules above, he would be the final pitcher used by the winning team, he would not be the winning pitcher, he would have recorded at least one out, and he would have entered the game with the potential tying run being one of the first two batters he faced.

2) A pitcher enters the game with two out in the ninth inning, his team is ahead 9-3, and the bases are loaded.

If the pitcher records the final out, he is NOT credited with a save. Looking at the rules above, he would be the final pitcher used by the winning team, he would not be the winning pitcher, he would have recorded at least one out, BUT he would have entered the game with the potential tying run not being one of the first two batters he faced.

3) A pitcher enters the game to start the sixth inning with his team ahead 17-0. He pitches all four innings (sixth through ninth) and his team wins 18-1.

The pitcher is credited with a save. He was the final pitcher used by the winning team, he wasn't the winning pitcher, he recorded at least one out, and he pitched at least three innings.

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Q: How many batters must a pitcher face to record a save?

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