Call on speedster's headfirst dive overturned after challenge
ST. PETERSBURG -- Indians manager Terry Francona improved his success rate on replay challenges in the sixth inning of Sunday's 6-5 win. Rays manager Joe Maddon, however, was not as successful.
With one out and Cleveland holding a 4-2 lead, Nyjer Morgan bunted a pitch from Rays reliever Brad Boxberger down the third-base line. Third baseman Evan Longoria charged in and grabbed the ball, firing a throw to first as Morgan dove headfirst into the bag.
Morgan was intially ruled out by first-base umpire James Hoye, prompting Francona to jog onto the field to challenge the call. After a brief review of the play at the Replay Operations Center in New York, the call was overturned and Morgan was rewarded with a bunt single.
On replays of the hit, Morgan could clearly be seen touching the base with a hand before the throw from Longoria arrived.
Following the overturned call, Boxberger balked, allowing Morgan to advance to second base. The reliever then threw a wild pitch that opened the door for the Cleveland outfielder to hustle to third. Mike Aviles then followed with a sacrifice fly to center field, scoring Morgan and giving the Tribe a 5-2 advantage. Francona has now had three of eight calls overturned this season after challenges.
In the ninth, Maddon challenged a close play at first base to lead off the inning, to no avail. Logan Forsythe hit a ground ball deep in the hole at shortstop, but Asdrubal Cabrera made a play on the ball and fired to first just in time to nab Forsythe.
Maddon left the dugout and decided to challenge after a chat with Hoye, but after review, the call was confirmed.