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Umps explain Sanchez catwalk HR Tuesday

MLB.com @wwchastain

ST. PETERSBURG -- Tuesday night's game, a 4-2 victory by the White Sox over the Rays, had a mysterious beginning when Yolmer Sanchez hit a ball that was ruled a home run, but did not appear to be one.

The White Sox second baseman hit the ball to center field. Kevin Kiermaier appeared to have a bead on the ball as he raced to his left. But the Rays center fielder did not. With Kiermaier headed one way, and the ball headed back the other, the umpires concluded that the ball struck the "C" or "D" ring. In line with Tropicana Field's ground rules, that made the ruling a home run, though most felt otherwise.

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ST. PETERSBURG -- Tuesday night's game, a 4-2 victory by the White Sox over the Rays, had a mysterious beginning when Yolmer Sanchez hit a ball that was ruled a home run, but did not appear to be one.

The White Sox second baseman hit the ball to center field. Kevin Kiermaier appeared to have a bead on the ball as he raced to his left. But the Rays center fielder did not. With Kiermaier headed one way, and the ball headed back the other, the umpires concluded that the ball struck the "C" or "D" ring. In line with Tropicana Field's ground rules, that made the ruling a home run, though most felt otherwise.

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Prior to Wednesday night's game, crew chief Bill Miller talked about what happened to pool reporter Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.

What happened?

"On the field, the ball was ruled to have hit a wire or something on the catwalk and the ball changed directions. Initially, it was called a home run. We got together and nobody had anything different. That's when [Rays manager] Kevin [Cash] came out and asked us to go to replay. It was a crew chief review. ... We went to the headphones and they said that the call stood. I don't know if they had a look. We don't get a detailed response when we go to the headphones. We tell them what was call on the field, and then they look. If they don't have anything to overturn it, the call either stands or it is confirmed. And so the call stood last night."

So it's possible they just didn't have a view to overrule or contradict your call?

"Absolutely. Yes."

And your crew felt the ball hit something and changed directions?

"We had it clearly changing direction. We have a Gold Glove center fielder out there and he's running the wrong way. We looked at the replay afterwards, and in my opinion, the ball is traveling to right-center field and then it changes course and goes and hits the center-field wall.

"I'm not a detective. And it is very confusing with these rings, it's very, very difficult because it's difficult to see. And I told Kevin that. I don't blame Kevin for being upset either, because it's a very difficult call. We have to go with what we have on the field. And it doesn't happen very often when a Gold Glove center fielder runs the wrong way."

So Kiermaier's reaction was part of your decision-making that it changed direction?

"We had it on the field as a home run and getting together afterwards we said let's look at what else we have. And that's why we went ahead and stayed with the call on the field because there was nothing else. If he would have stood there like this [with hands in the air looking up] and didn't run anywhere, we might have had something more to go on. We just didn't have anything to go on."

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.

Chicago White Sox, Tampa Bay Rays