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May 25, 2013

Rangers break down second-inning 'double play'

The 3-6-1 double play the Rangers turned for the first two outs of the second inning should have never happened, but first-base umpire Jeff Nelson wrongly thought Mitch Moreland had caught a throw from Elvis Andrus in time to put out Jesus Sucre.

The problem for Nelson and the Mariners was that pitcher Justin Grimm, standing well off the base, caught the ball. Brendan Ryan followed with a game-tying RBI single, and Seattle should have had runners at second and third with one out. Instead, Michael Saunders looked at strike three to end the inning.

Here's Grimm's take: "That happened so fast I didn’t realize the ump had called him out. Mitch came up to me and said, 'Well, he called him out, so walk with me.'

"I just started walking back to the mound like, 'Dang it. What did I do?' They’ve got a tough job, and not many people realize how quick things happen out there. We caught a break, for sure."

Moreland had stretched for the ball, and appeared to be limping as he walked toward the mound.

"I think that's just more the way I walk," he said. "I kind of wondered where it went, and then I looked up and saw Grimm there and was like, 'Well, I guess he caught it.' Then, I heard, 'Out.'

"I told him to walk with me because I figured there was going to be an argument. That's the way it works sometimes. Nobody's perfect, especially in this game. It went our way."

Mariners manager Eric Wedge argued, but not because Grimm caught the ball. Wedge thought that Moreland's foot hadn't held the bag.

"It would have been a much bigger argument if I had known that at the time," Wedge said.

Rangers manager Ron Washington was asked if he had seen a replay of the disputed play.

"I don't have to see the replay," he said. "We caught a break there."

-- Jeff Wilson





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