The Reds had flatlined. The game was over when Billy Hamilton was called out by firstbase umpire Tim Timmons, sending the Reds to its second straight one-run loss to the Cleveland Indians.
Reds' manager Bryan Price challenged the close play. It was recent experience that led him to do it.
“We had nothing to lose,” Price said. “We weren't waiting to look at the replay like the Cubs game.”
Last season a game ending missed call allowed the winning run to score in St. Louis but Price was told he waited to long to object.
This time he was all over it.
The replay showed that Hamilton beat the return throw.
The Reds trailed the Indians 3-2 going into the ninth inning facing Cody Allen, who nailed down his 13th save in 13 chances the night before in Cincinnati.
Scooter Gennett and Tucker Barnhart hit singles to open the inning. Arismendy Alcantara ran for Barnhart. Jose Peraza tried to bunt the runners o ver but Carlos Santana, who was personally responsible for the Reds' deficit, forced Gennett at third. The speedy Hamilton, arguably the fastest runner in baseball. Hit a one-hop ground ball right to Santana. Santana threw to Francisco Lindor at second and took the return throw.
Indians fans cheered, fireworks went off, and the Cleveland players were starting to high-five each other.
Zack Cozart, who hit a clutch single in the same situation in the eighth inning last night, hit a sinking line drive to leftfield. Michael Brantley dived to make the game ending catch but couldn't come up with it.
“I talked to the umpire Will at secondbase in the bottom of the ninth, who said that's what the replay is for,” Cozart said. “It was weird. Billy looked safe. I was working on my timing against Shaw. He started me off with a curve ball but I hit a fastball. I was pretty pumped. I was shocked Brantley almost caught it. I try to go Joey Votto style where I don't go situation to situation. I take care of my plan no matter what the spot is. It seems to be working.”
Alcantara scored with ease. Hamilton, running on the pitch, scored from firstbase on the single.
“When I saw Brantley dive, I was going wasn't going to stop,” Hamilton said. “I wasn't looking at Billy (thirdbase coach Hatcher). I had it in my head, I was going to go.”
The Reds went from losing the game 3-2 to taking a 4-3 lead.
The Indians and Reds traded two-run home runs in the first four innings. Santana (5th) hit one against Lisalverto Bonilla. Adam Duvall (10th) touched up Indians starter Trevor Bauer with a two-run home run.
In the bottom of the fifth Santana hit a run scoring double off Bonilla, his second double of the game.
Rain forced a two-hour delay.
The game resumed with Bauer and Bonilla replaced.
Andrew Miller replaced Bauer. Blake Wood took over for Bonilla.
Michael Lorenzen pitched a scoreless eighth that earned him his third win without a loss but there was still drama.
Raisell Iglasias got the first two Indians in the bottom of the ninth. He issued a walk to Jason Kipnis. Francisco Lindor singled to send the tying run to third base. Brantley bounced out to Peraza as Iglesias earned his ninth save.
“We can't help but feel a sense of satisfaction when you grind it out like that,” Price said.