NEW YORK (AP) — After watching Stephen Drew get called out even though Tampa Bay catcher Ryan Hanigan blocked the plate, Joe Girardi has new instructions for his baserunners.
“Run him over,” the New York Yankees manager said. “Bottom line: Run him over.”
Left fielder Matt Joyce threw out Drew in the fifth inning to preserve a one-run lead, and the Rays held on to beat the fading Yankees 4-3 Tuesday night.
Just hours after Major League Baseball gave teams and umpires new guidelines on what catchers can do under this year’s experimental rule designed to avoid collisions, the latest instructions were put to a test.
Drew was on second when Jacoby Ellsbury singled sharply to left, and third base coach Rob Thomson waved Drew around. Joyce threw home, and Hanigan gave Drew no lane to the plate as he awaited the throw, which arrived in plenty of time.
Hanigan tagged the sliding runner, and Drew was called out by plate umpire Vic Carapazza.
Girardi asked for a replay review, and the call was upheld after a delay of 1 minute, 19 seconds. Girardi discussed the ruling with first base umpire Larry Vanover, the crew chief, and Derek Jeter then lined into an inning-ending double play.
“I don’t know how I’m supposed to catch that ball besides the way I caught it,” Hanigan said. “As the throw came in, it came to the middle of the plate. If you call him safe right there, it’s ridiculous. If he hits me, I’ve got no problem with that. I think the play was called correctly.”
The new rule, announced in February, says a catcher can’t block the plate without the ball. The guidelines sent to teams Tuesday say the catcher’s positioning shouldn’t change the call when the throw clearly arrives ahead of the runner.
“I think on Sunday, he would have been safe,” Girardi said,
Crew chief Larry Vanover said he had not yet read the new guidelines, which Major League Baseball sent to umpires by email. He also said the replay umpire in the Manhattan control room gave a decision without explanation.
Drew felt he had “nowhere to go.”
“The old-school way is to try to take him out,” he said. “If I had to do it again, I’d probably do it the other way.”
Rays manager Joe Maddon agreed that trying to knock over the catcher might have been the best option.
“Joe had every reason to go out and argue,” he said. “Conversely, if that play is overturned, it’s a travesty.”
Girardi, a former catcher, sounded exasperated.
“If I’m the baserunner, I’m going to run him over there,” he said. “I’m going to lower my shoulder, and I’m going to run him over.”
As for the rest of the game, Chris Archer (9-8) allowed three runs and seven hits in 6 1-3 innings for the win. Pitching with old-fashioned stirrups that had horizontal stripes, he improved to 5-0 with a 1.93 ERA in six starts against the Yankees.
Dominating with a 95 mph fastball, Archer retired his first nine batters before Ellsbury’s leadoff homer in the fourth. The Yankees scored their other runs in the fifth.
“The hardest-hit ball that inning was the double play,” Archer said.
Jake McGee, Tampa Bay’s fourth pitcher, got three outs for his 17th save in 19 chances.
McGee, who hasn’t allowed a home run this year, retired Brian McCann on a flyout to the right-field warning track leading off the ninth and allowed Carlos Beltran to hit a drive about 10 feet to the foul side of the left field pole. Beltran then flied out, and Mark Teixeira hit a game-ending comebacker.
New York fell 5½ games back for the second AL wild card with 20 remaining, and the loss dropped the Yankees to 3-4 on their next-to-last homestand. The game drew 31,188, the smallest crowd at new Yankee Stadium and New York’s home low since Sept. 23, 2004, according to STATS.
James Loney’s solo homer in the second off Hiroki Kuroda (10-9) put the Rays ahead, and Tampa Bay opened a 3-0 lead in the third on RBI singles by Evan Longoria and Loney. Ben Zobrist’s run-scoring single in the fourth chased Kuroda.
Archer hit Chase Headley near his elbow with a pitch to start the fifth, and singles by Ichiro Suzuki and Drew loaded the bases. Chris Young, making his first big league start since Aug. 5 for the Mets, singled in two runs.
Then came the play at the plate and the video review.
“I was thinking in that moment,” Archer said, “that that run had scored.”
The play stood, and so did the lead.
Rays: SS Yunel Escobar returned to the starting lineup after missing Sunday’s game because of flu-like symptoms.
Yankees: RHP Masahiro Tanaka threw 45 pitches during a simulated game and may need only a practice outing before rejoining the rotation. The Japanese star has been sidelined since July 8 by a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament and hopes to avoid ligament-replacement surgery that would sideline him for 2015. ... INF-OF Martin Prado (hamstring) and OF Brett Gardner (abdominal strain) were out of the lineup again.
LHP Chris Capuano (2-3) starts for New York on Wednesday against Tampa Bay RHP Jake Odorizzi.
Loney is hitting .382 (21 for 55) with three homers and 12 RBIs in 13 games against the Yankees this season. He has a .348 career average against them with six homers and 29 RBIs in 40 games.