Af­ter a Con­tro­ver­sial Call, Ori­oles Wind Up Win­ning

The Washington Post Sunday - - Sports - By Adam Kil­gore

CLEVE­LAND, April 28 — Ed Mon­tague de­scended into the home dugout at Ja­cobs Field, his de­ci­sion fi­nal. As the crew chief of Satur­day night’s bizarre, 7-4 Bal­ti­more Ori­oles vic­tory over the Cleve­land In­di­ans, it was his re­spon­si­bil­ity to make this call.

As the game was be­ing played on the field, Mon­tague di­aled the of­fi­cial scorer from the dugout phone in the bot­tom of the sixth in­ning. The Ori­oles had scram­bled to find the rules, Mon­tague had con­ferred with both man­agers, and an­other um­pire had re­viewed a re­play. His de­ci­sion: Grant the Ori­oles a run that had been waved off three in­nings ear­lier, giv­ing them the lead in what be­came, even­tu­ally, a win that snapped a five-game los­ing streak.

Well, for now, any­way — Cleve­land Man­ager Eric Wedge placed the game un­der protest. He be­lieved once the next pitch was thrown af­ter the run was waved off, the call should have been fi­nal. Not Mon­tague.

“All in all, it was our screw-up,” Mon­tague said. “I can’t take away a run on our screw-up. What’s right is right. We have to score the run.”

One of the strangest plays in team his­tory would have been largely ir­rel­e­vant had Corey Pat­ter­son not won the game in the eighth in­ning. He came to the plate with two run­ners on and the Ori­oles trail­ing, de­spite the re­ver­sal, 4-3. Pat­ter­son laced a pitch from Aaron Fultz to right field for a dou­ble, which scored Miguel Te­jada and Jay Pay­ton to give the Ori­oles the lead, which their strug­gling bullpen locked down.

Clutch as Pat­ter­son’s hit was, the con­test will be re­mem­bered for one play and, more so, its af­ter­math.

In the third in­ning, with Te­jada on first and Markakis on third, Ra­mon Her­nan­dez lofted a fly ball to shal­low cen­ter. Grady Size­more chased it down, dived and made a head­first, slid­ing catch.

Te­jada wheeled around sec­ond base and kept sprint­ing, be­cause he thought there were two outs and Size­more had dropped the ball. “I was fly­ing,” Te­jada said.

Markakis jogged in from third base, cross­ing home plate well be­fore Size­more’s throw reached first base to dou­ble off Te­jada. Home plate um­pire Marvin Hud­son nul­li­fied the run, wav­ing his arms.

In the Ori­oles dugout, bench coach Tom Tre­bel­horn stewed, be­cause he had seen this be­fore, when he man­aged the Brew­ers nearly 20 years ago. He didn’t know the ex­act rule, but he thought to him­self, “That run should count.”

Tre­bel­horn am­bled out of the Ori­oles dugout and told Hud­son just that. Hud­son re­layed Tre­bel­horn’s con­cern to Mon­tague, and they spoke. As Tre­bel­horn walked off the field, he read Mon­tague’s lips. “It’s too late,” he said to Hud­son. But Tre­bel­horn had man­aged games when teams had been given runs af­ter the game had ended. He found Man­ager Sam Per­lozzo and told him, “Sammy, it’s never too late.”

Per­lozzo spoke with Mon­tague af­ter the next in­ning, and Mon­tague sought um­pire Bill Miller. He told Miller to go into the um- pires’ locker room and check the rule. Mon­tague thought Per­lozzo’s ar­gu­ment was valid, but he wanted to en­sure he was right.

“If it’s 100 per­cent,” Mon­tague said, “I will change it.”

Even­tu­ally, Miller re­turned. His mes­sage to Mon­tague: “It was 100 per­cent.”

Af­ter the top half of the sixth, Mon­tague talked with Wedge, then went into the home dugout to call the of­fi­cial scorer. The run, which had crossed home plate three in­nings be­fore, would be put on the score­board.

With­out any ex­pla­na­tion over the loud­speaker, in the bot­tom of the sixth, the ‘2’ changed to a ‘3’ in the Ori­oles’ run col­umn, and a tie game changed to an Ori­oles lead.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.