ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — While manager Lloyd McClendon is no fan of the transfer rule, he certainly has no problem challenging the application of it to get the Seattle Mariners a run.
Seattle had a six-run outburst in an inning that included three Texas errors and an overturned call that led to the ejection of Rangers manager Ron Washington during the Mariners’ 7-1 victory Monday night.
Seattle had the bases loaded in the sixth, already with four runs in, when Brad Miller hit a comebacker. Relief pitcher Pedro Figueroa threw home, and umpire Paul Schrieber initially ruled a forceout even though catcher J.P. Arencibia bobbled the ball on a transfer without dropping it or making a throw.
McClendon challenged, and the call was reversed after a replay review of 3 minutes, 31 seconds. That erased the out and gave Seattle another run.
“I thought it was a clear violation of the rules,” McClendon said. “It was an impactful play.”
Asked his feeling on the transfer rule, which is being enforced more closely with expanded replay this season, the manager responded, “I wish it would all go away, but it is what it is, and we just have to deal with it.”
Arencibia, charged with an error, said he was off the plate before losing control of the ball.
“I think that’s something that baseball needs to clean up because there are a lot of plays that have happened this year that are outs and giving teams extra outs,” Arencibia said. “I don’t think it’s baseball. Outfielders who have caught the ball and run four steps after they catch it, run into the wall and turn and throw the ball in and it falls out, and automatically safe. It doesn’t make sense.”
Roenis Elias (1-1) allowed one run and struck out five over 6 2-3 innings for his first major league victory. The left-hander, who defected from Cuba to Mexico in 2010, has a 2.16 ERA in three career starts.
“I came here to make it to the big leagues. I knew I could pitch in the big leagues,” Elias said through a translator. “I was throwing my pitches like I wanted. The curveball I threw today is what I normally throw.”
The Mariners went ahead to stay on Mike Zunino’s solo homer in the fifth off Colby Lewis (0-1), who made his first big league start in 21 months after elbow and hip operations. Zunino added an RBI single in that wild sixth that started with Robinson Cano’s leadoff single.
Cano scored on Michael Saunders’ triple to left-center — a ball that center fielder Leonys Martin bobbled without getting charged with an error. Kyle Seager followed with an RBI single that chased Lewis, and then things got interesting.
Dustin Ackley and Zunino had consecutive RBI singles after Arencibia couldn’t pull in a foul ball before reaching out and teetering over a camera-well railing. Mix in two fielding errors, and the bases were loaded.
Washington immediately came out to argue after the overturned call and was ejected by crew chief Ted Barrett because managers aren’t allowed to argue replay rulings. Washington’s ejection came a night after Boston manager John Farrell became the first big league skipper tossed under those circumstances this season.
“It was obvious he caught the ball, the runner was at least 9 or 10 feet from home plate, making his move away from home plate so he don’t have contact, you go to get the ball and he drops it,” Washington said. “I’m all for the review, but still that don’t mean you have to agree with some of the calls that go on because of review.”
Umpires in New York confirmed the play was overturned because Arencibia never had secure possession while transferring the ball from his glove to his hand.
Lewis made his first major league start since July 18, 2012, allowing four runs (three earned) over 5 1-3 innings. He struck out four and walked one.
The 34-year-old Lewis had right hip resurfacing surgery last August. He is the first known major league pitcher to come back after the procedure to remove bone spurs without a full hip replacement.
“I’d like to thank the Texas Rangers and the organization for giving me an opportunity tonight. It wouldn’t have meant as much for me to get back out there without having this uniform on,” Lewis said. “Overall, I felt great. Everything was really, really good.”
NOTES: Seattle had gone 21 consecutive innings without a run before Zunino’s third homer. … Texas scored a single run for the third time in four games — the others were 1-0 victories over Houston.
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