SAN FRANCISCO (AP)—Omar Vizquel thought he heard Bengie Molina’s hit land on the green roof above the right-field facade, so manager Bruce Bochy retrieved the ball and showed the umpiring crew a bit of green paint as evidence it was a home run.
Molina hit that two-run homer and didn’t score—part of a bizarre sequence involving an instant replay reversal—and Dave Roberts’ 10th-inning single Friday night gave the San Francisco Giants a 6-5 victory over the newly crowned NL West champion Los Angeles Dodgers.
“Omar with his bionic ears—I don’t know how he heard it,” Bochy said. “The umpires didn’t see it. It was hard to see. They said they all four saw it the same. The ball came back with green on it. They did the right thing. They got it right. That was huge.”
Tyler Walker (5-8) pitched the 10th for the win, and Roberts drove in Vizquel with a two-out single in the bottom half against Jason Johnson (1-2). Neither Molina nor Vizquel were around after the 3-hour, 33-minute game to discuss the crazy situation.
“It was kind of like a twilight zone thing. It was a pretty weird situation,” Roberts said.
In the sixth, Molina lined the first pitch from Scott Proctor to the roof in right and the ball ricocheted onto the grass below. Molina stayed at first and Emmanuel Burriss rushed out to pinch run before anybody could stop him, while Bochy hustled out to argue. After a brief discussion, the umpiring crew headed to the replay booth in the hidden umpire room behind home plate.
After about two minutes, they returned and crew chief Tim Welke signaled the home run—the second time since baseball began using instant replay that an on-field call was overturned. Dodgers manager Joe Torre came out for an explanation.
“I was curious to see how long it would take,” Torre said. “I didn’t have any problem with it. The thing that made it interesting was the fact this wrinkle (Burriss) was added and made it longer. It was lighthearted. There was no arguing.”
After a total delay of about 15 minutes, the crew ruled Burriss had to stay in the game and he was credited for the run scored, prompting San Francisco to play the game under protest.
“We conferred and decided to use the replay. We took a look and the ball clearly hit the green part of the wall, which is part of the ground rules that a ball hitting any part of the green thing it’s a home run,” Welke said. “Bochy wanted to reinsert Molina into the game but he doesn’t get another bite at that. We know the rules. Once a pinch-runner touches a base he’s in the game whether he’s put in or not. Bochy wanted to protest the game. You can’t go back and revisit history.
“We informed the official scorer that the game was being protested. In retrospect, he should have come out and discussed it before the pinch-runner. There is a rule that covers pinch-runners and that’s the one we went by. … The system worked and we got it right.”
Replay was used for the first time at the Giants’ waterfront ballpark. There also was replay used Friday in the Nationals-Phillies game at Philadelphia.
James Loney led off the ninth with a home run, and pinch-hitter Russell Martin added a two-run shot off Giants closer Brian Wilson, who picked up his sixth blown save. But Steve Holm, Molina’s replacement, tied it with a sacrifice fly in the bottom half as the Giants rallied to end a three-game skid.
Jeff Kent hit a two-run homer for Los Angeles against his former club in the fourth and further boosted his chances of making the playoff roster on the heels of knee surgery.
Kent returned from the disabled list last Saturday, less than three weeks after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee. Torre is leaning toward using the second baseman as a pinch hitter in the first round of the playoffs because his running is limited. While Torre believes Kent could physically handle playing the infield, he will be cautious in making that decision.
Derek Lowe, lined up to start the opener of the best-of-five division series for the Dodgers, pitched three scoreless innings. Lowe won his final four decisions over his last six regular-season starts.
Torre played left fielder Manny Ramirez for 3 1/2 innings and he had two singles. Torre gave third baseman Casey Blake the night off entirely, leaving it up to Blake how much he’ll play the rest of the weekend. Ramirez is scheduled to play Saturday then sit Sunday’s regular-season finale.
The Dodgers are 17-8 over their last 25 games in San Francisco. Jonathan Broxton blew his third save of the year.
This game marked the seventh time that replay had been used. The other reversed call was on Sept. 19, when Tampa Bay’s Carlos Pena was awarded a home run that was originally ruled a double. The system that allows umpires to determine boundary calls went into use on Aug. 28.
Los Angeles’ Angel Berroa pinch ran for Rafael Furcal—activated from the 60-day disabled list Wednesday night after being sidelined since May 6 with back problems—in the fifth and stayed in the game at SS. Torre also envisions Furcal making the 25-man division series roster as long as he stays healthy. … Molina received the “Willie Mac” award in a ceremony before the game—the second straight season he’s earned the recognition. The honor is named for Hall of Famer Willie McCovey and is voted on by the players, coaches and training staff to recognize the team’s most inspirational player both on the field and in the clubhouse. … 1B Travis Ishikawa rejoined the Giants and was in the starting lineup after being away from the club for two days to attend the birth of his daughter.