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19th-inning call ruled a mistake

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Posted: July 27, 2011 11:02 p.m.
Updated: July 27, 2011 11:01 p.m.
19th-inning call ruled a mistake

Atlanta Braves' Julio Lugo slides home in front of Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Michael McKenry to win the game during the 19th inning of a baseball game, early Wednesday in Atlanta. Atlanta won 3-2. Lugo was called safe on the play.


    ATLANTA — Major League Baseball and umpire Jerry Meals agree Meals made the wrong call in Atlanta's 4-3, 19-inning win over Pittsburgh early Wednesday morning.
    Meals ruled Pittsburgh catcher Mike McKenry failed to tag Atlanta's Julio Lugo in the bottom of the 19th, allowing Lugo to score the winning run. Replays showed McKenry clearly tagging Lugo before Lugo reached the plate.
    The Pirates filed a formal complaint hours after the longest game in team history, and MLB executive vice president for baseball operations Joe Torre said it appeared Meals missed the call.
    Later Wednesday, Meals said he saw in his review of the play that Lugo's pants moved slightly when tagged. Meals said that showed him he missed the call.
    "After coming into the locker room, I reviewed the incident through our videos that we have in here and after seeing a few of them, on one particular replay, I was able to see that Lugo's pant leg moved ever so slightly when the swipe tag was attempted by McKenry," Meals said.
    "That's telling me that I was incorrect in my decision and that he should have been ruled out and not safe."
    Meals' statement on Wednesday was stronger than his comment following the game that he "might" have missed the call.
    "You can watch that tape a hundred times and there's no 'might' about what happened," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said Wednesday.
    Hurdle said he wanted the clear acknowledgement from Meals that he missed the call.
    "I think that would be appropriate," Hurdle said before Meals released his statement. "It would be professional. It would be respectful. And then we could all move on."
    Hurdle spoke with Meals when lineup cards were exchanged at home plate before the game. The two shook hands, and Hurdle gave the umpire a pat on the back before returning to the Pirates' dugout.
    Torre said he spoke to Meals and "no one feels worse than him."

McCann, Schafer placed on DL
    ATLANTA — The Atlanta Braves have lost two regulars for at least two weeks by placing All-Star catcher Brian McCann and outfielder Jordan Schafer on the 15-day disabled list.
    The Braves recalled catcher J.C. Boscan and outfielder Wilkin Ramirez from Triple-A Gwinnett on Wednesday.
    Boscan will serve as the backup to David Ross while McCann recovers from a left oblique injury. Ramirez provides outfield depth, especially while left fielder Martin Prado fills in at third base as Chipper Jones is limited to pinch-hit duty by a strained right quadriceps.
    Schafer leads the team with 15 stolen bases, usually as the leadoff hitter.
    McCann is hitting .306 with 18 homers and a team-leading 55 RBIs.

Braves acquire Wil Nieves
    MILWAUKEE — The Atlanta Braves have acquired veteran catcher Wil Nieves from the Milwaukee Brewers for cash after losing All-Star Brian McCann to an oblique injury.
    The 33-year-old Nieves signed a $775,000, one-year deal with Milwaukee in the offseason. He made the opening-day roster, but struggled badly in the backup role. He hit .140 in 20 games before being sent to Triple-A Nashville, where he was hitting .170 in 23 games.

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