DETROIT -- Upon further review, Miguel Cabrera beat Mike Trout again.
It was a replay review in Saturday's Tigers-Angels game, not an MVP vote, and there were no advanced metrics involved. In this case, the decision was based on what was seen, which from several angles showed Cabrera sliding into third base just ahead of Trout's throw from center field in the third inning.
Replay overturned the original call that third baseman Ian Stewart had tagged Cabrera out trying to advance on Torii Hunter's fly ball to center. The reversal led to a run on the next batter when Austin Jackson hit a sacrifice fly to right field.
Another review led to another out call overturned the next inning, and gave the Angels what ended up being their best chance at a big inning against Max Scherzer. Stewart was originally ruled out trying to steal second base with two outs on Scherzer, but replay showed Stewart sliding in ahead of the tag.
It was the first replay reversal of the year in the Angels' favor, and it extended the inning with runners at second and third base and an RBI chance for Erik Aybar. He had a 3-1 count against Scherzer, and Scherzer had to keep his focus through a review process of one minutes and 52 seconds.
"That's something that's completely new," Scherzer said, "and I knew typically when it goes to replay, it's going to get overturned. That challenge is important, so for them to use it, you know they're probably going to be right.
"I had to take the mentality that it was going to get overturned and I had to get Aybar out. So I was sitting there thinking with a 3-1 count, two outs, runners at second and third, going through the whole scenario, taking warmup pitches to make sure my arm was at 100 percent. That was a very important at-bat, and even though it was something new, I thought I took a good mentality."
Scherzer regrouped to strike out Aybar and end the threat.
"He pitched well the whole game, but that was kind of the turning point in the game in terms of Max's outing," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said.
The previous replay challenge was part of an interesting trek around the bases for Cabrera, who reached base and rounded the bases without the benefit of a base hit. He led off the inning with a fly ball to right that ex-teammate Brennan Boesch dropped for an error. C.J. Wilson's walk to Victor Martinez moved Cabrera to second, where he took an aggressive attempt on Hunter's fly ball to Trout.
Cabrera took a couple of easy steps after Trout's catch, then took off.
"I've said it since Spring Training -- this guy's baseball IQ is high," Ausmus said. "He gave a false-looking break like he was just going to take a few steps and stop and go back to second, I guess you would call it a deke, and then he picked right back up and kept going."
Trout has one outfield assist from center this season, and he seemed to have a second as his throw came in to Stewart on one hop as Cabrera began his slide. Third-base umpire Gerry Davis originally ruled Cabrera out, but replay showed Cabrera got his right foot to the bag just ahead of Stewart's tag.
The review took one minute and 15 seconds. The ensuing run extended the Tigers' lead to 3-1.
"I think [replay] has been done efficiently," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "It's a tool you have in case you have that error that could affect the game, and those guys used it to their advantage and we did, too."