Royals manager Ned Yost lost the first instant-replay challenge in franchise history, when his attempt to overturn a safe call at first base in the seventh inning of Friday’s 7-5 victory over the White Sox was unsuccessful.
Earlier this week in Detroit, the Royals watched as Tigers manager Brad Ausmus took advantage of the new system twice to overturn calls. On Friday, Yost tried his hand.
The play began when Chicago first baseman Jose Abreu struck a grounder toward third baseman Mike Moustakas. The throw appeared to pull first base Eric Hosmer off the bag.
When Yost went onto the diamond, Hosmer told him not to bother. He did not think he had made the play. But Yost came armed with better information.
Monitoring the play from a replay truck was advance scouting coordinator Bill Duplissea. He informed bench coach Don Wakamatsu that Hosmer was in fact still on the bag. The question was whether he retained possession of the baseball as he stumbled away.
“It’s like a football player, when he catches that ball and it hits the ground and it rolls a little bit,” Yost said. “They call it a no catch. And that’s what that ball is doing right there.”
Yost placed his odds at 50 percent when he decided to challenge the play. But he decided it was worth a gamble, anyway, with his team protecting a three-run lead.
The delay lasted 2 minutes, 49 seconds as the umpires determined whether Hosmer had made the catch. Yost disliked the length of the wait.
“This is a new system,” he said. “And there’s going to be some things that we work through. But I think that the system is working the way it was designed to work. And I think it’ll get better.”
Hosmer reported no lingering effect after being hit by a fastball in the first inning by White Sox starter Erik Johnson. The pitch “skinned” his right elbow, he said.
Perez’s first steal
Catcher Salvador Perez achieved a milestone: He stole a base for the first time in his major-league career. It occurred in the 256th game of his career.
The opportunity knocked in the eighth. White Sox reliever Scott Downs lost control of a curveball in the dirt. Catcher Tyler Flowers drifted to block the ball. It was ruled neither a passed ball nor a wild pitch, but Perez advanced from first to second.