CLEVELAND - The Oakland A's thought it was a home run, the Cleveland Indians
were hoping it wasn't a home run, and the umpires, after a video review, said it was not a home run.
In a controversial finish Wednesday night at Progressive Field, the Indians beat the A's 4-3 after an apparent game-tying home run in the ninth inning by Adam Rosales
was ruled a double.
"What did the umps say? Inconclusive," said Oakland manager Bob Melvin, who was ejected for arguing the ruling following the video review. "They were probably the only four people in the ballpark that thought it was inconclusive. Everyone else said it was a home run, including their announcers."
Indians closer Chris Perez
struck out the first two batters in the ninth and was one out away from ending the game when Rosales hit a towering fly ball to left field. Replays appeared to show that the ball hit the railing above the left field wall, which would make it a home run. The umpires, however, ruled that it hit off the top of the wall and was a double.
"I thought it was a home run," said Perez. "It looked like a home run and it sounded like a home run."
Melvin argued the initial call and the umpires went in for a lengthy video review, then returned to the field and again ruled it a double.
"It wasn't evident on the TV we had that it was a home run," said umpire Angel Hernandez, speaking for the crew to a pool reporter. "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."
The A's disagreed, especially Rosales.
"Our whole team thought it was the wrong call," he said. "We didn't agree with it. The replays showed it hit the railing. With six eyes on it (the three umpires who did the video review), you would have thought they'd make the right call."
Nobody was more upset than Melvin.
"I went in and looked at it later (after being ejected) and it clearly hit the railing," Melvin said. "I'm at a complete loss. A homer is a homer, even if it's over by an inch."
With Rosales at second, Perez seemed a little shaken by the reprieve as he hit the next batter and walked the one after that to load the bases with two outs.
Perez then retired Seth Smith on a comebacker to end the game.
Two home runs that did count were the difference in the game.
The Indians, who are tied for the American League lead in home runs, hit two in a three-batter span in the sixth inning that turned a 3-2 Indians deficit into a 4-3 Indians lead.
With the victory Cleveland has won nine of its last 10 games and the Indians are 7-1 on a home stand that will end on Thursday.
With the Indians trailing 3-2 with one out in the sixth inning, Nick Swisher belted his fourth home run into the seats in center field. Two batters later, Carlos Santana clubbed his seventh homer, also a solo shot over the wall in center.
That gave Cleveland a 4-3 lead and that was enough for starter Justin Masterson
and the Cleveland bullpen. Masterson pitched seven innings, giving up three runs on four hits while striking out seven with two walks. He improved his record to 5-2.
Reliever Joe Smith pitched a scoreless eighth inning and Perez escaped that wild ninth with his fifth save.
A's starter A.J. Griffin gave up four runs in six innings and took the loss. He is 3-3.
Masterson breezed through the Oakland lineup in the first three innings, retiring nine of the first 10 batters he faced, but the second time through the order he struggled.
Oakland scored three runs in the fourth inning, in which Masterson hit a batter and gave up four hits. Brandon Moss singled home one run and Daric Barton, called up from Class AAA Sacramento earlier in the day, added a two-out, two-run single to give the A's a 3-0 lead.
Griffin, in his first career appearance vs. Cleveland, held the Indians scoreless on two hits through the first four innings, but in the fifth Cleveland scored two runs on one hit, two walks and an error to cut the Oakland lead to 3-2.
NOTES: The A's placed outfielder Josh Reddick on the disabled list with a sprained right wrist. Reddick is hitting .152 with one home run and 14 RBI. ... First baseman Daric Barton's contract was purchased from Sacramento by the A's. Barton was hitting .287 with 3 home runs and 21 RBI at Sacramento. ... Indians left-hander Scott Kazmir will start Thursday against Oakland, the team he has beaten more than any other team in his career. Kazmir is 9-5 in 17 career starts vs. the A's. ... Outfielder Michael Bourn played his second game on a rehab assignment at Class AAA Columbus Tuesday. Bourn, who has been on the DL since April 15 with a lacerated right index finger, could be activated in the coming days.
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