Leyland goes off on umpires for missed strikeout call

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Leyland goes off on umpires for missed strikeout call

One call in the second inning may have changed the whole game for the Detroit Tigers Monday and manager Jim Leyland wasn't about to let it go.

With two outs and a runner on second, Mike Aviles had two strikes on him when he swung and missed at a pitch that Detroit catcher Gerald Laird appeared to have caught for a third strike.

Instead, home plate umpire Jeff Nelson ruled that the ball had struck the ground first, making it a foul ball. On appeal, first base umpire Bill Welke agreed.

The inning continued and the Sox added three runs while Leyland and third base coach Gene Lamont were ejected for arguing the call.

Welke later acknowledged that the umpires had made a mistake.

"What looks crystal clear (on video)," said Welke, "didn't look crystal clear from the first base line."

That didn't mollify Leyland.

"There shouldn't have been a second-inning rally," Leyland said. "I mean, there should not have been a second-inning rally. There's three outs. I've been in the game a long time; when a catcher catches the ball and it's strike three you call the guy out. It's that simple, isn't it?"

When Leyland was asked what explanation he received from the umpires, he launched into a rant.

"He said the ball hit the ground," said Leyland. "I'm sorry. I'm the most patient man in the world with umpires; protect them more than anybody. And I understand there's the human element involved in the game. But you're 120 feet away? I mean, you gotta be 110 percent sure. You can't be guessing at that call. That's that simple. I mean, come on."

And the more Leyland spoke, the angrier he became, turning his frustration toward the media.

"Was that a ridiculous call? Then write it that it was a expletive ridiculous call," he said, his voice rising. "Write that it was a expletive ridiculous call; not just a bad call, a maybe call, a expletive ridiculous call. Write the expletive thing. That's all. I protect them more than anybody; I'm not mad at the expletive umpires, but expletive it's a ridiculous expletive call, you saw it, you think it's a ridiculous call, write it, expletive I don't have to say it.

"I'm not a expletive writer, I'm a expletive manager."

David Price improves command, indicates he's pitching through ailment

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David Price improves command, indicates he's pitching through ailment

BOSTON — David Price and Rick Porcello showed improvement on back-to-back nights Friday and Saturday, important signs for the Red Sox after a difficult month for both pitchers prior to this homestand.

Price on Saturday night went six innings and allowed three runs, two earned, in a 6-3 loss to the Angels. He fanned five and his velocity has been consistently better this year than last year.

But the most important number was his walk total: one. He walked three batters in his previous start, and four in both of his starts prior.

“Two outings ago, the first start here in Fenway,” Sox manager John Farrell said. “There was better timing in his delivery and overall better separation over the rubber. And he carried that through I thought, even though there's a higher pitch count in Houston, and has been able to maintain it here. I can't say there was one specific thing. It's been more the timing over the rubber. And you're seeing him pitch out of the stretch exclusively. Just less moving parts in a better position to repeat it.”

After Price’s final inning, the telecast captured Price calling pitching coach Carl Willis into the tunnel. Neither Farrell nor Price detailed the conversation. 

“Yeah, everything was fine,” Farrell said of the conversation. “Everything is OK there.”

Price made it sound like he’s dealing with some sort of physical ailment, but was vague.

“There's a lot of stuff going on right now,” the pitcher said when asked about the desire to stay out there. “You don't want it to linger into the next start, or two or three weeks from now, and that's why we did what we did.”

Asked to elaborate, Price reinforced that the decision was to save his body for another day.

“You never want to come out of a game. But you have to look forward at the time,” Price said. “You don’t want today to cost you your next start or you know, the start after that. So that’s what happened.

“It has nothing to do with my elbow or anything like that. This is — you get past one thing and there’s another So that’s what it is.”

Price in New York in early June felt a blister develop on his ring finger. He missed an in-between start bullpen because of it.

Asked about the blister Saturday, Price said, “That one’s gone.”

Farrell indicated the blister was diminished, if not entirely gone.

“He's been dealing with that,” Farrell said. “I think while it's still present and maybe not as severe as it was when it first happened, I'm sure he's going to check on it occasionally."

Red Sox threaten late, but can't come back in 6-3 loss to Angels

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Red Sox threaten late, but can't come back in 6-3 loss to Angels

BOSTON - JC Ramirez rebounded from his shortest career start with six solid innings, Cameron Maybin doubled home a run and scored another and the Los Angeles Angels held off the Boston Red Sox 6-3 on Saturday night.

The Angels look for their fifth series win in their last six on Sunday.

Mitch Moreland hit a solo homer for the Red Sox, who lost for only the third time in their last 13 home games.

Ramirez (7-5) allowed one run and four hits with five strikeouts after lasting just three innings and giving up five runs in his previous start.

Blake Parker struck out pinch-hitter Chris Young with the bases loaded for the final out for his first save of the season after Boston scored twice in the ninth.

Red Sox manager John Farrell was ejected by third-base umpire and crew chief Bill Miller after Fernando Abad was called for a balk, scoring a run that made it 5-1 in the seventh.