SEATTLE -- The controversial play at the plate during the fourth inning of Boston's 5-4 loss to Seattle on Saturday maybe should have never happened.
Just one play before Jacoby Ellsbury was gunned down at the plate by an Ichiro Suzuki laser beam from right field --- preventing what turned into the decisive run --- the Red Sox center fielder had what seemed to be a good chance to score.
With Ellsbury at third and no out, Adrian Gonzalez slapped a hard grounder to Seattle first baseman Mike Carp, who made a nice play in the dirt and tossed the ball to pitcher Felix Hernandez, who covered first.
All the while, Ellsbury remained at third.
"Actually, yeah, I was surprised," Hernandez said. "I was like, 'Wow, he's still on third.'"
Ellsbury, who hit his 20th home run of the season Saturday to become the fourth member of the 20-20 club (homers and steals) in the Majors this season, said that with the Red Sox down, 5-0, the biggest thing to remember was that there were no outs.
"Could I have scored? You know, in that situation -- runner on third, no outs -- even if they get the out at first, you still have two more opportunities to drive in that run," Ellsbury said. "You either want to see it through or be 100 percent sure that you can get there.
"It was a chopper. I broke hard, but once I saw him coming in, he either has a play at the plate for me or, which he did, he went to first. We elected to stay at third and have helpfully two more shots at it."
Boston did indeed have another shot at scoring, but Ichiro's throw and catcher Josh Bard's ability to hold on to the ball during the collision at the plate -- combined with the umpires' call reversal -- kept the Red Sox off the board and sent manager Terry Francona to the clubhouse after arguing.