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Leyland fine with how umpires handled rain

DETROIT -- The Tigers have had their share of late-inning rallies lately. If not for the weather, they might have had a chance at another on Tuesday during a 6-3 loss to the A's. The way manager Jim Leyland looked at the decision to call Tuesday's game in the sixth, though, it could've been worse.

Though some fans were questioning crew chief Gary Darling's decision to play through a steady rain that began early in the game before finally calling for the tarp in the sixth, especially after Justin Verlander indicated he lost his grip on the changeup that Brandon Moss hit out for the go-ahead homer in the fifth, Leyland took the opposite approach.

"I thought the umps did a very commendable job," Leyland said Wednesday. "They gave both teams their shot. [The A's] took advantage of theirs, and we weren't able to. I thought they did a great job.

"Those are no-win situations, because that's one of those things where everybody else has got all the answers. People who are dealing with that have got the pressure of their decisions. You have to understand, too, with stuff like that, MLB is involved. It's not just an umpire saying, 'That's it.' It doesn't work that way."

Major League Baseball plays a role in weather-related decisions when a team is in town for the final time in a season. In Oakland's case, this week is the only time the A's are in Detroit this regular season. The game began on time under dry conditions, but a 45-minute opening inning gave plenty of time for a storm system to come in.

Had the game been called soon after the rain started, it would've had to be replayed in its entirety, likely Wednesday or Thursday. It didn't become an official game until the end of the fifth inning.

From there, the decision hinged on how long the conditions remained playable. Given the Tigers' injury situation, it was a concern for Leyland as well. He had a scare in the sixth when Bruce Rondon slipped on a slick mound, but it turned out not to be a serious injury.

He lost a game, but he didn't lose a player. Leyland described it as a Catch-22.

"It might have been a blessing in some ways that the game was called," Leyland said Tuesday night. "You've got Miguel Cabrera hurting. You're going to be on a slippery field. You've got guys that are playing all the time sitting up here and waiting a while in conditions that were really bad.

"It could've turned out to be a nightmare. However, in saying that, you always want to play the game, so I don't want to come off like I'm glad they called the game, because I'm not. But I understand it, and in the long run, it might have been a blessing that they called it."

Jason Beck is a reporter for Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason.
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