Aramis' overturned homer lifts Brewers
Foul ball was ruled solo shot after replay review
By Adam McCalvy / MLB.com | 6/19/2012 12:50 AM ET
TOR@MIL: Aramis powers the Brewers' offense in win
- 99 wins
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MILWAUKEE -- Upon further review, Aramis Ramirez's foul ball was actually a game-winning home run.
The first use of replay review at Miller Park this season added a dose of drama to the Brewers' 7-6 win over the Blue Jays, an Interleague series opener on Monday that included three Toronto home runs but none from the Brewers -- until the umpires went to the videotape.
Is Ramirez a fan of instant replay in baseball?
"Now I am," he joked.
And why not? Ramirez's seventh-inning home run hinged on a call from the men in blue, who briefly disappeared into the tunnel for Miller Park's seventh review since the system was implemented across baseball in 2009.
Ramirez had just batted in the seventh inning of a game knotted at 6 -- the Brewers' earlier, 6-1 lead long gone, an advantage built in part by Ramirez's two-run double in Milwaukee's four-run second inning. As Ramirez stepped to the plate in the bottom of the seventh, the Blue Jays had barely stopped celebrating Jose Bautista's tying, three-run homer.
Batting against reliever Robert Coello, Ramirez hit a line drive down the left-field line that struck a wall beneath the foul pole and was initially called foul by third-base umpire Paul Nauert.
"It's hard when you're out there," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "I asked Eddie [Sedar, the Brewers' third-base coach], 'What did you see?' He goes, 'I don't know.'"
So Roenicke lobbied successfully for a replay, which showed the baseball barely catch the outside edge of a yellow pad below the foul pole. That's good enough for a fair ball, and after only a few moments out of sight, plate umpire Doug Eddings emerged with an index finger twirling over his head:
"I haven't seen it yet, but by all accounts it hit the yellow stripe," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. "That's why instant replay is there."
Ramirez finished with three hits and three RBIs.
It marked the first time in Miller Park history that a foul ball was reversed to a home run.
"That means they're going to get the call right," Ramirez said. "That's what it's all about. Because of that, we won the game tonight. ... I think it was a homer, because if that hit the wall [in foul territory], it would have come back a little harder. That hit the wall and stayed right there, so I figured I had a home run."
Still, it was a few tense moments while he waited in the on-deck circle for the ruling. When the umpires emerged, Ramirez ran straight to first base and resumed his trot.
"That's the first time that ever happened to me," Ramirez said.
He never figured it would take such a close call to decide this game. By the end of the fourth inning, all nine Milwaukee starters had a hit, including pitcher Randy Wolf.
But the Blue Jays, who began with a homer from former Brewers prospect Brett Lawrie, powered their way back into the game. First baseman Edwin Encarnacion hit a sixth-inning solo blast that sailed 463 feet and struck Bernie Brewer's slide high above left field, sending a "thunk" reverberating through the ballpark.
In the seventh, Wolf exited with a runner on base, one out and a 6-3 lead, only to see it slip away. Kameron Loe, the eventual winning pitcher, walked center fielder Colby Rasmus to bring up right fielder Bautista, who hit a high sinker into the left-field seats for a 6-6 tie.
Wolf had seen that show before.
The bullpen has blown a save in each of Wolf's past three starts, four of his past five and five of his past eight. He was charged with four runs and remained winless since April 30.
"'Wolfie' should have had the win today," Loe said. "I got it, but he definitely deserved it. ... I feel terrible about it. He's been pitching well. There's been a few games -- today being one of them -- that he should have got wins."
He was rooting hard for Ramirez's liner to be ruled a home run.
"That's awesome," Loe said. "Any time you give it up and your team picks you up like that, it's huge. It definitely takes the sting away."
The homer had the same effect on Wolf.
"The good thing is we won today," he said, playing the role of organizational soldier. "We've had some heartbreaking losses the past six games, and today we were able to pull one out."
Wolf's counterpart, Henderson Alvarez, had an even tougher night. The Blue Jays starter did not allow a home run for the first time in five starts but remained winless since May 10 after recording only one more out (12) than he surrendered hits in four innings of work. He surrendered six Brewers runs.
Rickie Weeks had two more hits as he continued his slow march toward .200, and Nyjer Morgan and Ryan Braun scored two runs apiece.
"It was a good night to be an offensive player," Ramirez said. "That's why you have to give 'Wolfie' a lot of credit. That's a pretty good offensive ballclub on the other side, and he threw the ball well and gave us a chance."
The Blue Jays have dropped 11 straight games in Milwaukee, a losing streak that goes all the way back to 1996, two years before the Brewers moved to the National League