ST. PETERSBURG -- Joe Maddon finally exercised his right to request a challenge on Friday night, his first under the new instant replay system.
And the call was overturned.
With two outs in the top of the seventh, Rangers catcher J.P. Arencibia lofted a shallow fly ball to right field. Wil Myers dove and seemed to control the ball, but first-base umpire Hunter Wendelstedt ruled that the ball had hit the artificial surface.
Myers made it clear that he thought he caught the ball, so Maddon wasted little time in issuing the challenge after walking onto the field.
"I knew he had caught it," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "I was just waiting for the umpire to determine that."
The umpires retreated near the visiting dugout at Tropicana Field and 1 minute and 45 seconds after play was stopped, the ruling came back that turned Arencibia's single into an inning-ending out.
"Hunter saw a lot of white," Maddon said. "I said, 'I totally appreciate that, I understand what you're talking about. But I truly believe his glove is underneath the ball.'
"Hunter saw a lot of white, and that was his rationale. And I said, 'Listen, I get it. Let's just take a look at this one. I thought from my perspective in the dugout, I thought it was a catch. From Wil's reaction, I thought it was a catch. It was a catch."
Myers allowed that the play looked closer than he thought on the replay.
"It obviously hit my palm and rolled up my glove," Myers said. "That's what the umpire saw, at the tip of my glove. And luckily we got that overturned."
Prior to Friday night's game, Maddon had gone onto the field twice to talk to umpires while the Rays' video coordinator Chris Fernandez reviewed the tape. And on both occasions, Maddon returned to the dugout without issuing a challenge.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less