CLEVELAND, Ohio — Indians manager Terry Francona said James Hoye is a good umpire, but he thinks he got it wrong.
“It” happened in the eighth inning of the Indians’ 2-1 win over the Royals at Progressive Field on Friday. Cleveland eventually won on Bobby Bradley’s walk-off homer in the ninth. But in the eighth, things did not look so rosy.
Triston McKenzie, after seven splendid innings, had handed a 1-0 lead to Emmanuel Clase. Jorge Soler changed that with a one-out homer to tie the score.
The Indians came right back in the bottom of the inning as Daniel Johnson singled and went to second on an error. Cesar Hernandez followed with a single to right as Johnson stopped at third. There were no outs and runners on the corners with the meat of the order hitting. What could go wrong?
Amed Rosario sent a grounder to shortstop Nicky Lopez as Johnson broke for home. Lopez ran at Johnson, who stopped halfway between third and home and got into a rundown. Hernandez, meanwhile, made the turn at second and slid into third as Johnson was diving back.
Royals catcher Salvador Perez, after taking Lopez’s throw, had chased Johnson back to third. When Johnson came off the bag, Perez tagged him out. Then he tagged Hernandez. Hoye, who lives in Parma, called both runners out and a potential game-winning rally turned to dust.
“I had two arguments,” said Francona. “By the rulebook if there are two runners on the third at the same time, the guy coming from second (Hernandez) is out.
“But they tagged Daniel and they kept the tag on Daniel as he came off the bag. Once he’s out, Cesar is OK (safe at third).
“And the other thing is Daniel wasn’t on the bag. So we don’t have two guys on the bag when he (Perez) tagged Cesar. I think there’s a couple of ways to go there and I don’t think they got it right. You got the home plate umpire (Tripp Gibson) coming down there. I don’t know what the heck he thought he saw.
“I think they got it wrong. They’re good umpires. I don’t think they got the play right.”
Hoye ejected Francona during the argument. It was Francona’s first ejection since May 25, 2019.
“I know I probably said some things that I didn’t mean,” said Francona. “But it’s tough play at that situation in the game.”
Francona was asked if the play was reviewable and said, “That’s a really good question because I kind of lost my composure when I walked out onto the field. It’s still a little hazy there. I’ll find out. … It’s a good question and I need to find out a little more about that.”
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