NEW YORK -- At first, it appeared to be a jaw-dropping catch. But mouths opened even wider in disbelief at what turned out to be an odd and clearly wrong call made by the third-base umpire.
The New York Yankees appeared on their way to a routine win in their 6-4 victory over the Cleveland Indians before the play in the seventh inning Tuesday night. But third-base umpire Mike DiMuro's "out" call on a ball Yankees left fielder Dewayne Wise clearly dropped as he fell into the Yankee Stadium stands will surely gain attention and revive debate on the need for instant replay.
It also cost the Indians at least a chance at a run in a game they would eventually lose by two.
To cap a wild final three innings, the Indians rallied from a 6-0 deficit with four runs in the ninth against reliever Cory Wade -- including a two-out, three-run homer from Jose Lopez. In the eighth, Lopez had replaced Jack Hannahan, who was ejected for arguing the controversial call back in the seventh.
Yankees closer Rafael Soriano finally ended the game by coming on to get Lonnie Chisenhall on a grounder to first. But the discussion won't end anytime soon, thanks to DiMuro's confusing and controversial call.
With the Yankees up 4-0 in the top of the seventh, the Indians had a runner on third with two outs when Hannahan lofted a ball toward the stands down the left-field line in foul territory.
Wise came racing in to make a play and leaped, appearing to catch the ball before tumbling into the stands.
But, as replays clearly showed, the ball fell out of Wise's glove.
DiMuro raced down the line to check on the play, as Wise tried to return to the field, struggling to get his leg back over the fence. The left fielder did not appear to make any display to show his glove to DiMuro, who nonetheless raised his right fist to signal Hannahan was out to end the inning.
Alex Rodriguez then homered in the bottom of the inning to give the Yankees a 5-0 lead. Hannahan did not immediately argue the play, but apparently viewed replays between innings, and was ejected for strenuously arguing in the eighth.
The Yankees seemed to be cruising behind eight innings of shutout ball from Phil Hughes (8-6) and a key two-out, two-run single from Curtis Granderson.
Compounding the Indians' frustration on the call was that it was a rare chance for them to score in the seventh when Michael Brantley led off with a double and moved to third on a grounder with one out. But Casey Kotchman flied out to shallow right before Hannahan hit the foul ball ruled an out.
It was just one of three innings in which the Indians put runners in scoring position against Hughes as they managed just six hits against him.
The Yankees added their final run on Chris Stewart's sacrifice fly in the eighth for a 6-0 lead.
Jason Kipnis led off the ninth with a double against Wade, but Wade retired the next two batters, including Brantley on an over-the-shoulder, snow-cone catch by third baseman Rodriguez in foul territory.
Former Yankee Johnny Damon then got the Indians on the board with a bloop RBI single to center, his second hit of the game. Kotchman followed with his second single of the game and Lopez then homered to left, to make it 6-4.
Cleveland starter Justin Masterson (4-7) allowed four runs on seven hits in six innings.
Up 3-0, the Yankees added a run in the fifth when Mark Teixeira drove in Granderson with a sacrifice fly to center.
After struggling for most of the season hitting with runners in scoring position, the Yankees scored three times in the second, thanks to several two-out hits.
With runners on first and third, Stewart smacked an RBI single off the glove of diving third baseman Hannahan to give the Yankees a 1-0 lead. Derek Jeter, celebrating his 38th birthday, then singled off Masterson's leg to load the bases for Granderson.
The Yankees center fielder then drilled a single into left-center, to give the Yankees a 3-0 lead.
Hughes shut out the Indians in the first five innings, allowing them just three hits as Cleveland's offense continued to struggle. The Indians had scored just one run in each of their last three games and five in their last four entering Tuesday's game.
NOTES: Yankees catcher Russell Martin (stiff back) was out the lineup for the third straight game, but swung a bat for the first time since noticing the injury Saturday. Martin said he thought he could play Wednesday, though he didn't expect to be fully healed. ... Jeter celebrated his 38th birthday Tuesday, with the Bleacher Creatures in right field chanting "Happy birthday" during the roll call instead of calling out his name. "As you get older, you learn your body more, you learn your abilities more and you learn different ways to improve," Jeter said. ... Indians DH Travis Hafner was scheduled to begin a rehab stint with Class AAA Columbus (Ohio) on Wednesday, the Indians said. Hafner underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on May 31.