Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Rays rally derailed by disputed call

ST. PETERSBURG — To be clear, and accurate, it was what Baltimore's Chris Davis did at the plate that was the primary reason the Rays lost to the Orioles 6-3 Thursday and dropped two of three in the season-opening series.

But it was what Evan Longoria did — or didn't do — on the basepaths that was the prime topic of conversation and controversy and left the Rays feeling they were done in by the umpires as well.

Longoria's alleged baserunning mistake — passing teammate Ben Zobrist by what apparently was a slim margin as both headed to second — thwarted the Rays' bid for a potential ninth-inning comeback.

"Bottom line, I didn't think it was the right call," Longoria said. "If you're going to make that call in that situation, it's got to be kind of blatant."

Down 6-2 after another big day by Davis — who became the first player in major-league history to knock in three or more runs in each of the first three games of the season — the Rays opened the ninth with Sean Rodriguez hit by a pitch and a Zobrist single.

Longoria lashed closer Jim Johnson's first pitch to left-center, the ball eluding both outfielders and bouncing off the wall, scoring Rodriguez.

Zobrist, however, had headed back to first in case the ball was caught and he had to tag up, while Longoria was thinking he might have a triple, and their paths led to an unfortunate meeting — or passing — as both approached second base.

So rather than having second and third with no outs and the tying run at the plate, Longoria was called out and the Rays had one on with one out, and got nothing more.

"Of course I thought it was a big turning point," Longoria said. "It really swung the momentum, not in our favor."

So who was in the wrong?

Zobrist said he was for going back to tag first rather than head to second, from where he could have retreated if the ball had been caught. "A baserunning mistake on my part," he said

Longoria said he didn't do anything he would have changed since he was running in control and knew where he was in relation to Zobrist, though he then conceded, "I could have looked up and try to pick up where he was."

Maddon said ultimately Longoria, as the trail runner, was to blame — "Just like when you hit a car from behind, whose fault is it?" — but his bigger issue was with the umpires. First-base umpire James Hoye, who made the call despite appearing a bit out of position, and crew chief John Hirschbeck, who was working second, refused to consult with home-plate umpire Jim Reynolds, who Maddon felt had a better angle of an accurate view.

"(Hoye) was adamant he got it proper so at that point there was no reason from their perspective to convene, so I can't argue beyond that," Maddon said. "I just thought I saw something different, and I was just looking for the guy with the best angle in the building to become more involved."

Hirschbeck said there was no need or protocol to review the call, made under Rule 7.08 (h). "It's a judgment, but like I told Joe, that's like a missed base. That's not something that an umpire just comes up with," he said. "That's the kind of thing either you see it or you don't.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter said from their perspective it was an obvious transgression. "If they hadn't called it, they would have had a heck of an argument, too," he said. "We saw the same thing the umpire did."

The Rays saw enough of Davis, who went 7-for-11 (.636) three doubles, three homers and 11 RBIs in the opening series. On Thursday, before 17,491 at the Trop, that included a two-run homer in the second off Roberto Hernandez, who worked into the seventh, and a two-run double in the sixth.

Maddon had joked Wednesday night to Sun Sports reporter Kelly Nash that they would stop pitching to Davis and roll the ball to the plate but declined any creative maneuvers to take the bat out of Davis' hands. "This guy's history doesn't merit that kind of respect yet," Maddon said. "But if he keeps this up, then heck yeah."

"He was just too much all series long," Zobrist said. "Any pitch that was in his zone he took it and deposited it. We were out in the outfield just kind of shaking our heads, like this is unbelievable. This guy is ridiculous right now."

Rays rally derailed by disputed call 04/04/13 [Last modified: Friday, April 5, 2013 10:04am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Miami up to No. 2, behind Alabama, in College Football Playoff rankings

    Colleges

    Miami moved up to No. 2 behind Alabama in the College Football Playoff rankings released Tuesday night, with Clemson slipping one spot to three and Oklahoma holding at four.

    The unbeaten Hurricanes trail only Alabama in the new rankings, with Clemson and Oklahoma completing the top four.
  2. Strong's slip about UCF's Griffin seen as motivation for Knights

    College

    TAMPA — While saying nothing to purposely fan the flames of the USF-UCF rivalry during his weekly news conference Tuesday, Bulls coach Charlie Strong provided fuel for the Knights' best player.

    FILE - In this Nov. 11, 2017, file photo, Central Florida linebacker Shaquem Griffin defends against Connecticut during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Orlando, Fla. The American Athletic Conference defensive player of the year in 2016, Griffin has not made quite as many impact plays this season, but he is still among the best players in the conference. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File) NY155
  3. Cambridge Christian's Caleb Young makes up for lost season

    Footballpreps

    TAMPA — For Cambridge Christian, last Friday's Class 2A region final against Indian Rocks Christian represented a hurdle that the Lancers couldn't quite clear a year ago. For one Lancer in particular, it was the Golden Eagles themselves that brought back nothing but bad memories.

    Caleb Young tore his ACL on Sept. 9, 2016, vs. Indian Rocks Christian and missed the rest of his junior season. He helped Cambridge Christian beat IRC last week and he’s injury free.
  4. Bucs linemen hand out Thanksgiving dinner to 1,000 families in drive-through event

    Human Interest

    TAMPA — The smiles started with hundreds of moms, dads and kids as they arrived at One Bucs Place, but it wasn't long before the giant men in red were beaming, too.

    Bucs offensive guard Caleb Benenoch delivers a Thanksgiving dinner Monday to Melissa Mobley during the 11th annual Turkey Time with the O-Line. Mobley’s family was one of hundreds served.
  5. Lightning-Blackhawks: Tampa Bay is killing it on penalty-killers

    Lightning Strikes

    BRANDON — A successful penalty kill begins long before the offending Lightning player, whistled two minutes earlier for some infraction, leaves the box with the score unchanged.

    Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) makes a save along with defenseman Braydon Coburn (55) against Dallas Stars center Mattias Janmark (13) during second period action at Amalie Arena in Tampa Thursday evening (11/16/17). DIRK SHADD   |   Times