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McClendon wins challenge of close call at first

Ruling overturned after replay indicates Zunino beat out slow grounder

McClendon wins challenge of close call at first play video for McClendon wins challenge of close call at first

NEW YORK -- Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon successfully challenged a call on a Mike Zunino grounder leading off the fifth inning of Tuesday's 6-3 victory over the Yankees, with umpires overturning their original out call and giving Seattle's catcher what turned out to be a crucial base hit.

Replays showed Zunino beat the throw from second baseman Brian Roberts, thus leading to a reversal of first-base umpire Bill Miller's out call.


The ruling paid off for the Mariners, with Zunino eventually scoring Seattle's first run on a bases-loaded groundout by Robinson Cano. A Corey Hart double and Justin Smoak single, both with two outs, gave the Mariners three more runs in the frame and a 4-2 lead against left-hander CC Sabathia, and they wound up riding that big inning to victory in the series opener.

"I felt like I beat it just because the play happened right in my peripheral [vision]," said Zunino. "It was a bang-bang play, and I hit it and sort of peeked in the dugout and saw them answering the phone right away, so I just hung out. Luckily for that, because I thought I had a good chance of beating that."

Zunino wound up with a career-best four hits in the game, and none was bigger than the rally-starting infield single.

"Just whatever I could do to start that inning," Zunino said. "I was just trying to get on base and I had two strikes on me, so I was just trying to put the ball in play. And luckily I was able to beat it out."

The Yankees had no argument with the decision.

"The replay is what it is," said Sabathia. "He was safe."

Greg Johns is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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