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Astros lose challenge on tiebreaking infield hit

Saunders reaches first just before Sipp as Mariners score go-ahead runs

SEATTLE -- Considering it was a pivotal play in Thursday night's game, the decision by Astros manager Bo Porter to challenge a call at first base in the seventh inning was certainly worth a shot.

The Mariners had the bases loaded with two outs in a tied game when Michael Saunders beat out an infield hit, allowing two runners to score and give the Mariners a 3-1 lead. Saunders barely beat pitcher Tony Sipp to the bag, and Porter decided to roll the dice and challenge in attempt to keep the score tied.

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While the umpires were consulting the replay center in New York, the crowd at Safeco Field erupted into cheers when the replay board showed Saunders' foot stepping on the base just a hair before Sipp's. The umpires confirmed the call moments later.

The hit ended Sipp's run of 21 consecutive batters he had retired since joining the Astros this month. He came into the game with the bases loaded and one out and got Cole Gillespie to pop out. He worked the count to 3-2 on Saunders before giving up the infield hit.

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter.

Seattle Mariners, Houston Astros, Michael Saunders, Tony Sipp