HOUSTON (AP) – Nationals leadoff hitter Trea Turner was called out and Washington manager Dave Martinez was ejected from a 7-2 Game 6 victory in the World Series after a disputed interference call in the seventh inning Tuesday night.
With a runner at first, Turner hit a slow roller down the third base line and ran for first narrowly inside fair territory.
Pitcher Brad Peacock fielded the ball and his throw pulled first baseman Yuli Gurriel toward the baseline. As Gurriel stretched, Turner ran into his glove, and the ball bounced off Turner’s leg and into foul territory. Turner ended up at second, with lead runner Yan Gomes going to third – except home plate umpire Sam Holbrook quickly signaled for interference.
Turner was called out and Gomes sent back to first base. After some argument from Martinez and the Nationals, umpire went to the headsets for 4 Â½ minutes before signaling to uphold the call.
It sounded as if the Nationals wanted to pursue a protest. Turner was heard on television pointing to Major League Baseball chief baseball officer Joe Torre and shouting “He’s right there!” and “Just ask him!” while umpires were on the headsets.
Two batters after play resumed, Anthony Rendon hit a two-run homer to put Washington ahead 5-2. Eaton added a two-run double for a 7-2 lead in the ninth.
“I didn’t think he was out of the line,” Rendon said, adding he was happy to take a seat and get to rest during the delay.
Martinez stepped onto the field to talk with Holbrook and crew chief Gary Cederstrom after the inning and quickly became animated. Six weeks after having a heart procedure, Martinez was restrained by bench coach Chip Hale – or at least Hale tried – as the manager kept shouting and eventually was tossed.
Holbrook’s call was roundly criticized by other players on social media. Cleveland Indians pitcher Mike Clevinger tweeted it was “just plain ugly,” and Chicago Cubs slugger Kyle Schwarber called it “a bad rule,” suggesting MLB should adopt a wider “safety bag” like those used in many slow pitch softball leagues.
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