DETROIT — With the Detroit Tigers in a jam after a close play at first base, Brad Ausmus calmly made his way onto the field.
No histrionics from the rookie manager — not in this situation at least. All he had to do was challenge the call and wait.
“It’s almost awkward when you go out there,” Ausmus said. “Normally the manager would go out there to scream and yell, but it doesn’t make sense to go out there and scream and yell if they know you have a challenge. In essence, I’m really just taking my time getting out there so we can get a determination from our video room as to whether we should use the challenge.”
Baseball’s new instant replay system was popular at Comerica Park on Wednesday, when two calls at first base were overturned in Detroit’s favor. The second reversal ended a Kansas City rally in the 10th, and the Tigers eventually won 2-1 on Ian Kinsler’s single in the bottom of the inning.
Kinsler also hit a solo homer in the fourth, helping Detroit win despite a blown save by new closer Joe Nathan. Max Scherzer pitched eight scoreless innings for the Tigers.
“All I kept thinking about was picking up Max. He was so good all game and you don’t want to waste that kind of performance,” said Kinsler, who was acquired from Texas for Prince Fielder in a November trade. “It was great for Joe, too. We know he’s a great closer, but it is a lot easier to forget about a bad outing when your team wins the game.”
In the top of the 10th, Kansas City’s Norichika Aoki was called safe at first, and it looked like the Royals would have first and third with two outs against Al Alburquerque (1-0). But upon further review, the throw barely beat Aoki. He was called out to end the threat.
There was another overturn in the sixth when Detroit’s Tyler Collins was initially called out at first, giving Kansas City a 4-6-3 double play. The play was reviewed and Collins was ruled safe, although Detroit didn’t score.
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