For the second time this season, the Royals were part of a controversial balk call. On Tuesday, the decision went against the opponent.
In the third inning of the Royals’ 7-6 12th-inning victory, Rays starter Matt Andriese was called for a balk with a man on third base and two outs, giving Kansas City its first run of the game.
Rays manager Kevin Cash was ejected after arguing the decision, which appeared to stem from a new rule that says under some circumstances, certain pitchers will have to declare whether they are working from the windup or the stretch. Andriese was working from the windup with a runner at third.
“If you go back and look, the balk call was a good second-and-a-half delay,” Cash said. “They didn’t know what they hell they were talking about or what they were doing. It’s on them. I’ll get repercussions for commenting on it. Go ahead, bring the fine on. It’s ridiculous.
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“That’s not why we lost the game. We lost the game because we couldn’t protect the lead. But poor preparation on their part, unaware of what’s going on, unaware of the pitchers. I don’t know how many times that call has been in effect this year. I know not one time in a month and a week, that it hasn’t even been brought up. Not one time. To my knowledge, Matt Andriese has made, what, six starts? I’d be willing to bet he has probably had some guys on third base in the past, just a wild guess on my part.’’
The call was made by third-base umpire Bill Welke, who said it was the first time the crew had enforced the rule.
“He did not declare to the umpires that he would be working out of the windup so we assume he is pitching out of the stretch and he did not pause,” Welke told a pool reporter.
Crew chief Mike Everitt said the rule was “cut and dried.”
The call was reminiscent of another controversial balk call against Royals starter Danny Duffy in a loss in Chicago. Duffy was ruled to have not come to a complete stop while pitching out of the stretch. He later described the call as “garbage.”
That call was made by home-plate umpire Bruce Dreckman, who was behind the plate again Tuesday night at Tropicana Field.