|Luck on Indians' side in 4-3 win over Athletics|
|Thursday, May 09, 2013 12:41 AM|
AP Sports Writer
CLEVELAND (AP) — Chris Perez has been in the middle of more than his share of wild, dramatic finishes.
Nothing, though, will top his latest outing.
This time, the umpires saved him.
“Luckily, we were on the right side of it this time,” Cleveland’s colorful closer said.
Adam Rosales’ apparent game-tying home run off Perez with two outs in the ninth inning was ruled a double — even after three umpires reviewed it on TV — and the Indians escaped with a 4-3 win over the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday night, Cleveland’s ninth win in 10 games.
With Perez protecting a one-run lead, Rosales sent a drive off Perez that looked as if it cleared the 19-foot-high wall in left field and hit a railing. However, second-base umpire Angel Hernandez called it a double, and two other members of the crew concurred with the original ruling after leaving the field to review the videotape.
When the umpires returned and told Rosales to stay at second, A’s manager Bob Melvin sprinted onto the field and was immediately ejected.
Following the game, a miffed Melvin couldn’t grasp what had happened.
“Inconclusive, to the only four people in the ballpark that could say that it was inconclusive,” Melvin said. “Everybody else said it was a home run, including their announcers when I came in here later. I don’t get it. I don’t know what the explanation would be when everybody else in the ballpark knew it was a home run.
“Clearly, it hit the railing. I’m at a loss. I’m at a complete loss.”
Rosales, too, was puzzled by the stunning events in the ninth.
“Our whole team thought it was the wrong call,” Rosales said. “The replays showed it hit the railing. With six eyes on it (three umpires), you would have thought they’d make the right call.”
Perez initially thought the ball hit the yellow line above the 19-foot-high wall and dropped. But after watching a replay in the clubhouse, he was convinced the Indians got away with a win.
“Honestly, I saw it hit the yellow line and come down,” he said. “So I thought it was in play still. Obviously, coming back in here I saw different. Off the bat, I thought it was a homer. It sounded like a homer. But then it came down and I thought we had some life.
“They went and reviewed it. The longer it went, the more I thought, ‘All right. They’re going to say it’s a homer.’ Luckily, the call came in our favor. I don’t think I’ve ever been on the other side of a replay like that, but I’ve definitely been on the other side of bad calls and missed strikes and stuff like that.
“It’s part of the game. We’ll definitely take it.”
Hernandez told a pool reporter there was not enough clear proof to overturn the original call.
“It wasn’t evident on the TV we had it was a home run,” Hernandez said. “I don’t know what kind of replay you had, but you can’t reverse a call unless there is 100 percent evidence and there wasn’t 100 percent evidence.”
Perez wound up loading the bases before getting the final out as the Indians won for the ninth time in 10 games.
Nick Swisher and Carlos Santana homered for Cleveland, which improved to 12-4 since April 20.
Following the game, a few Indians players scrambled to find a remote so they could turn up the TV volume and hear Melvin’s comments.
“If it hit the pad, it would have just hit the pad and come down softly,” Melvin said. “Clearly there was a ricochet.”
Under Major League Baseball rules, once the replay is requested and the review is made, the call stands.
Before the umpires returned to the field, Perez seemed resigned that he had blown the lead. Indians manager Terry Francona, too, checked his scorecard perhaps thinking about some moves he might have to make because the game was now tied.
As the umpires emerged from watching the video, Rosales leaned off the bag at second ready to resume his home run trot. He never got started.
With the umpires satisfied they got the call correct, the A’s were forced to try to tie it another way.
“Wet ground, the way the game had been going, I made sure he (Smith) wasn’t gaining on me,” Perez said, smiling. “It’s a lot easier to go over there myself.”
Before the dramatic finish, the Indians trailed 3-0 until scoring twice in the fifth and getting the homers from Swisher and Santana off A.J. Griffin (3-3) in the sixth.
Justin Masterson (5-2) allowed three runs in seven innings and got his second career win over Oakland.
Cleveland is 12-4 since April 20 and three games over .500 for the first time this season. The Indians will try to sweep the four-game series on Thursday.
Down 3-2 in the sixth, Swisher and Santana connected off Griffin and the Indians held on to improve to 7-1 on this homestand. About the only thing that isn’t climbing for Cleveland is the attendance. The Indians are averaging just 14,411 fans per game — last in the majors.
With one out in the sixth, Swisher launched his fourth homer into the right field seats. He was still slapping hands with some teammates, when one out later, Santana ripped his seventh homer over the center-field wall, a shot that had the excitable Swisher doing a little dance in Cleveland’s dugout.
It was the 10th time this season that Cleveland, which leads the AL with 46 homers, has hit two homers in one inning.
NOTES: Masterson continued Cleveland’s run of stellar starting pitching. In the last nine games, Indians starters are 8-1 with a 2.64 ERA. … The Indians will re-evaluate OF Michael Bourn’s status following his game with Triple-A Columbus. Bourn has been on the disabled list since April 15 after slicing open his right index finger and needing stitches. He could be activated for this weekend’s series in Detroit. … With his 104th save, Perez tied Jose Mesa for third in club history. Bob Wickman (139) and Doug Jones (129) are the only ones ahead of Perez.
|Last Updated on Thursday, May 09, 2013 12:44 AM|