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Francona seeks clarification on umps' call

Francona seeks clarification on umps' call

Francona seeks clarification on umps' call
BOSTON -- From manager Terry Francona to outfielder Mike Cameron and Dustin Pedroia, the Red Sox were left confused by some on-field calls Tuesday night in a 5-0 loss to the A's.

"I never saw a call made at second," Francona said of a play in the eighth inning that he watched on TV. "They looked to me like they were covering up a little bit."

Francona saw the play on TV because earlier, in the fourth inning, he was ejected for the 30th time in his managerial career. Brett Anderson picked off Dustin Pedroia at first base with Oakland ahead, 1-0, and both thought a balk call should've been made. Home plate umpire Jim Reynolds made the ejection.

The timing of the toss was notable, after Francona said on Saturday that he wasn't interested in being thrown out with the team struggling.

"The rule is that you can't deceive. I mean, [Anderson] went two different directions," Francona said. "Started toward the plate, changed his mind, landed toward the plate. For me, it was a balk all the way."

"It's hard to believe that they couldn't see that," Pedroia said. "That part's upsetting. That's a runner on second, nobody out."

In the eighth inning, with Anderson still on the mound, Jacoby Ellsbury was called out on a steal attempt at second base. What wasn't clear was why: because catcher Kurt Suzuki's throw got him, or because batter's interference was called on Mike Cameron? There was no call from second-base umpire Andy Fletcher, and the TV broadcasts, both clubs and the official scorer thought interference was called.

Crew chief Tim Welke, the third-base umpire, told a reporter after the game that Ellsbury was called out because the throw had beat him.

Ellsbury felt he could only be out if it was because of interference, not because the ball beat him. Video replay shows that to be correct as he beat the tag by a fair margin.

"That out call came after," Ellsbury said. "It was delayed pretty good."

The official score in the hours after the game still showed an interference call.

"I guess he got that one wrong," Cameron said. "I didn't even think I swung. Then they call him safe. I guess we'll never know because nobody will own up to that."

Francona, who heard second-hand from bench coach and acting manager DeMarlo Hale of the umpires' explanations, was still searching for answers.

"I'm confused a little bit," Francona said, "I'd like to get a little bit more of a clarification. I guess when [Hale] went out, 'D' said, 'What do you got?' And [an umpire] said interference. ... 'D' went out in between innings, and [the umpires] said 'No, no interference, they called him out at second.' So I'd like to find out what really happened."

Evan Drellich is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @EvanDrellich. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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