O's Davis awarded grand slam after call overturned
Replay shows drive to left hit foul pole; O's later lose challenge on play at first
ST. PETERSBURG -- The Orioles got a big break in the top of the third inning on Tuesday night against the Rays, with Chris Davis awarded a grand slam after a crew chief review overturned the initial ruling of a double.
Tampa Bay starter Erik Bedard got ahead of Davis 0-2 before Davis lofted a high fly ball toward the left-field foul pole. Left fielder David DeJesus tracked the ball into the corner, but ran out of room and collided with the wall as the ball hit about five feet up on the foul pole.
"It kept fading, fading, fading, and at that point, I couldn't really look up to see the wall because it was so close," DeJesus said. "So I just threw my glove up there and ran straight into the thing."
DeJesus, who separated his shoulder last year on a play when he ran into the outfield wall, was fine after the impact, which looked and sounded worse than it actually turned out to be.
"It looks like he hit the wall pretty well, and I'm surprised he got up," Rays manager Joe Maddon said.
DeJesus' first reaction wasn't about his health. It was to ask an usher in Tropicana Field's "162 Landing" -- a picnic-type area next to the foul pole along the left-field line -- where the ball had hit.
"I was asking the guy there, like, 'Where did that hit?'" DeJesus said, laughing. "You know, because I have no clue -- I don't know if it hit the wall or it hit the pole. And he was saying, 'Wall,' and I was like, 'All right.' Well, then I looked over and saw [third baseman Sean Rodriguez] getting it, and I was like, 'All right, let me just make sure I'm all right,' and I was fine."
The umpires initially agreed with the usher, ruling that the ball was fair and in play, and Davis pulled into second with an apparent two-run double. But replays showed the ball actually hit the foul pole, prompting Orioles manager Buck Showalter to leave the dugout to request a review.
"I got a pretty good feel from Dominic [Chiti] in the bullpen," Showalter said. "Plus, the way things kind of echo in here, you can hear it. We have things in place to get it right."
After the umpires agreed to review the play, the ruling was overturned, giving Davis his 12th homer of the season and third career grand slam to put the O's up, 5-0. It was the biggest blow of the night.
"It was up and away, trying to get him to chase, and it hit the foul pole," said Bedard of the home run after the game.
There wasn't much else he could say. It certainly wasn't one of the swings that got Davis the nickname "Crush" -- really, he just threw his bat at a ball out of the zone -- and the Baltimore first baseman knew it.
"That was probably the worst of the three pitches he threw me," Davis said. "It was just up, and I got my barrel on it, and I lucked out, to be honest with you."
In addition to the umpire-initiated home run review, the Orioles lost a challenge in the bottom of the fifth when the call was confirmed after Evan Longoria was ruled safe on a play at first base.
After Longoria was confirmed as safe on his one-out chopper to third baseman Manny Machado, the Rays wasted no time making the ruling worthwhile. James Loney delivered an RBI double to score Longoria and bring Tampa Bay within 5-4.
Baltimore is now 5-for-12 in challenges this season.