A save (abbreviated SV or S) is credited to a pitcher who finishes a game for the winning team under the following circumstances:

  1. He is the finishing pitcher in a game won by his team
  2. He is not the winning pitcher
  3. He satisfies one of the following conditions:
  • He enters the game with a lead of no more than three runs and pitches for at least one inning.
  • He enters the game, regardless of the count, with the potential tying run either on base, at bat or on deck
  • He pitches for at least three innings

If the pitcher surrenders the lead at any point, he cannot get a save, but he may be credited as the winning pitcher if his team comes back to win. No more than one save may be credited in each game.

If a relief pitcher satisfies all of the criteria for a save, except he does not finish the game, he will often be credited with a hold (not an officially recognized statistic by Major League Baseball).