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I came across a baseball news and noticed the author used some pitcher "allows a home run to" some batter, not "allows a home run from." The batter hit the home run, so it seems to me that "allow a home run from" is more meaningful.

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Who is doing the allowing? Who is being allowed? –  Mitch Oct 13 '12 at 12:54
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3 Answers

That is one of those cases—a non-dilemma dilemma—in which reading between the lines would have revealed that there is neither grammar problem nor (most accurately) diction problem in the cited passage. In the argot of every enterprise—news generation is no exception—there is a specialized, often telescoped or short-hand way of saying things…for brevity’s sake as well as to limit copy space. In the cited passage (and the piece from which it comes) you have the confluence of two argots: that of the news reporter; and that of baseball—in the latter in particular of which statistical underpinnings are also in play—in baseball, statistics plays and has always played an essential role unsurpassed in any other sport. One way of vocational insider intercommunication that affects baseball just like any other business (or avocational) endeavor, involves the abridgment of sentences—the stripping out of words that seem unnecessary to insiders.(In news publishing, a similar editorial stripping is referred to as cutting copy.)

Thus will you read reports of a pitcher’s allowing a home run “to” a batter, in lieu of the more complete (to outsiders more “meaningful”) , and seemingly, but not actually, more rhetorically (grammar-wise and diction-wise) correct phrasing in which, say:

…the pitcher, by not striking out or otherwise retiring, or not "yielding up" an advance to bases, allowed a [certain] batter to be credited with a home run (thus enlarging, and thereby diminishing, his own earned run average, vis-à-vis the batter's HR, R, and RBI statistics, both (statistics) of which, respectively, will eventually have effect, for (batter’s) good or (pitcher’s) ill when it comes time to review and decide upon trades, salaries, bonuses, and the like.

(With increasing experience, and a modicum of insider know-how such reading between lines, and overlooking the obvious for what is not, becomes increasingly second nature.)

Now, one might counter all that, saying: after all, is it not the article purchaser/reader, and not the baseball insider, whose ease of comprehensibility ought to be taken most into account? Wouldn’t any good writer who “knows his stuff” be aware of that? The answer to that would be, that in the paradigm of sports writing, just as with any other form of feature reporting, most reporters, if not culled directly, as insiders, from the sport in question, have instead spent “years and years” mining and cultivating insider contacts…a process requiring mastery of the insiders' own special ways of speaking (and listening). Add to that the fact, that reporters also know their readers: that baseball fan-atics invariably know or eventually pick up on the “niceties” of the baseball vocabulary and culture. A baseball reporter who fails to reflect such baseball values and lingo in his/her reporting—even if “ordinary” readers are inconvenienced—stands to lose credibility with his own employer’s source of revenue.

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Home runs allowed is a statistic. It's most common to say "allowed to" a batter, although both make sense. Perhaps the "to" usage emphasizes the pitcher's responsibility.

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"Allowed a home run from" is never used—literally, or at least as literally as makes no never-mind. Here are the raw Google hit scores:

allowed a home run to: 77K
allowed a home run from: 0

You will, however, find "home run from" without allowed, to indicate who hit the home run. More often, however, the phrase is "home run by" (with or without allowed): their Google hit scores are

allowed a home run by: 43K
home run by: 6.5M
home run from: 2M

These statistics of course are very fuzzy; they include such uses as "home run from the left side of the plate" and "home run to tie the game". But they're suggestive.

Interestingly, the scores are much closer when plural home runs are in question:

home runs by: 1.14M
home runs from: 1.41M

But with allowed, even in the plural, to is the clear winner and from is a non-starter:

allowed home runs to: 127K
allowed home runs by: 11K
allowed home runs from: 7

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In my experience, "home run from" usually occurs in context like "The Giants got a home run from Posey in the 5th to give them a 6-0 lead". –  Nate Eldredge Oct 14 '12 at 4:00
    
@NateEldredge In my experience it was more likely to be "the Cardinals got a home run from Pujols"—but those days, alas, are gone. –  StoneyB Oct 14 '12 at 6:57
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