With one out in the sixth, Whit Merrifield and Eric Hosmer singled. Then, Kendrys Morales grounded to first baseman Miguel Cabrera, who fired to shortstop Jose Iglesias for the forceout at second. Iglesias rifled the ball back to Fulmer, who was covering first, for an apparent inning-ending double play.
The Tigers headed to the dugout and several, including Fulmer, actually reached it when home-plate umpire Laz Diaz realized the Royals wanted to challenge the out call at first. After a review, the call was overturned, and Morales was safe, extending the inning.
The Tigers and manager Brad Ausmus were not amused, believing the Royals had taken too long to challenge. There is no rule for length of time to challenge, but Ausmus wanted to check if he could protest nonetheless.
Diaz put the headset on again, and after conferring with replay officials in New York, informed the Tigers they could not protest.
By the time Fulmer got back on the mound almost five minutes had elapsed.
Paulo Orlando was the next hitter up and promptly singled in the only run off Fulmer.
Royals manager Ned Yost said the time it took to challenge wasn't the club's fault.
"[Ausmus] said it took too long [to challenge]," Yost said. "The problem was, I told [bench coach Don Wakamatsu] to check [with Duplissea], and I put my hand up, and I thought Laz saw me. And then, I turned around to get on the step, and Laz had turned toward the ball boy so he didn't' see me, and I couldn't get his attention. The crowd was so loud I couldn't get his attention.
"We weren't late. I told Laz that later, and he said, 'Yeah, I know that. It was just too loud.' The umpire is supposed to be able to stop the guys on the field. But I'm screaming and yelling and walking on the grass to get Laz's attention, and we just couldn't get it."
Ausmus believed the process simply took too long.
"I was protesting the procedure that took place," Ausmus said. "The rule says that the manager has to get the umpire's attention immediately at the end of an inning. I've been in those shoes where there's a bunch going on and you're trying to figure out if you should challenge or not, you don't want to hold up the game if you don't have to. But I just felt that they didn't get the umpire's attention."