8/7/2014 2:48 A.M. ET
Overturned call looms large in Royals-D-backs game
By Dick Kaegel / MLB.com
PHOENIX -- The Royals have had a good record when issuing challenges in this first year of the new instant replay system. They stand 18-10. But on Wednesday night, for the first time, their successful challenge gave them the deciding run in a game.
Royals manager Ned Yost has been a firm advocate of the system all season.
"I just want to get the call right and that's what it did," he said, referring to the ninth inning challenge that made the difference in a 4-3 victory over Arizona.
Billy Butler led off the ninth with a double -- the only hit provided all night by the top five batters in the Royals' lineup. Alex Gordon was hit by a pitch and Lorenzo Cain flied out to deep center. At this point, the D-backs switched pitchers, from right-hander Matt Stites to lefty Oliver Perez.
Up came Mike Moustakas, who already had all three Kansas City RBIs. His sharp ground ball was snagged nicely by second baseman Aaron Hill.
"Hill made a great play on that ball. It kind of took a weird hop right at the end and made him dive and I think that's what made everything happen," Moustakas said. "I was just running down the line to do what I can to get to first and get that run which turned out to be pretty big."
At the last second, Moustakas made a headlong dive into first base. Umpire Tony Randazzo called him out, making it an inning-ending double play, but Yost popped out of the dugout. When he got word from his replay coordinator, Bill Duplissea, the challenge was issued and the decision rested with the umpires watching the various views in New York.
In just 48 seconds, the ruling was overturned. Moustakas was safe, there were just two outs and Butler had scored for a 4-2 lead. Moustakas had his fourth RBI.
"I thought I beat it," Moustakas said. "But for those guys [the umpires] especially on that kind of play, it's bang-bang. ... He called me out and that's why we've got the replay now. It's pretty cool, but those plays are tough to call, especially when someone's diving and you don't hear that footstep and the ball."
Closer Greg Holland gave up a run to the D-backs in the ninth, but the two-run cushion was enough.
"The run we gave up in the top of the ninth was the killer," said D-backs manager Kirk Gibson.
"The pitch to Moustakas wasn't a good pitch. He put the barrel on it. I think he hit it lower on the lip and it kicked on Hilly, so we didn't turn the double play. Ultimately, that turned out to be the big run against us."
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.