MLB Denies Rays’ Weekend Protest Over Challenge in Toronto

Baltimore — Major League Baseball on Tuesday denied a protest filed by the Tampa Bay Rays last weekend in Toronto.

Executive Vice President for Baseball Operations Joe Torre made the ruling, which stemmed from a play disputed by Rays manager Joe Maddon in Saturday’s 5-4 loss to the Blue Jays in 10 innings.

Wil Myers was called safe at first base on a pickoff throw by Toronto pitcher Mark Buehrle. After Buehrle returned to the rubber, Blue Jays manager John Gibbons came out to challenge the call.

Myers was called out on a replay review, and Maddon told umpire crew chief Bob Davidson that he was playing under protest.

The replay rules say challenges must come before the next play or pitch. The rules say the crew chief decides whether a manager’s challenge is timely.

“We got a couple of different interpretations where you can and cannot protest,” Maddon said Tuesday at Camden Yards. “I didn’t think we were protesting replay. We were protesting the right to go to replay. Again, it is what it is.”

“I can sit here all day long and tell you how much I disagree with it. At the end of the day, as much as respect as I have for Joe Torre, for me it’s over and done with. From my perspective, I hope the discussion continues because I think the whole situation deserves discussion,” he said.

The struggling Blue Jays were obviously happy with the ruling.

“We might have been winless for the week if they’d nailed that thing,” Toronto manager John Gibbons said. “Deep down I really had no worries that they were going to uphold that thing. To guarantee that in the win column always helps.”

Asked whether the league asked him to make quicker use of the replay, Gibbons replied, “I’m sure I’ll get a note saying, ‘Speed it up a little bit better next time.’ They’ll leave no doubt maybe. They did the right thing. Bottom line, they got the call right. That’s what the whole replay system is for anyway.”

Last week, San Francisco became the first team since 1986 to win an MLB protest. The Giants contended a rain-shortened loss at Wrigley Field should’ve instead been a suspended game.

Mariners GM Gets Extension

Seattle — The Seattle Mariners rewarded general manager Jack Zduriencik with a multi-year extension with the club in playoff contention late in the season.

The Mariners announced Zduriencik’s extension Tuesday, but did not release details. Zduriencik has served as Seattle’s general manager since 2008 and may finally be on the verge of getting the Mariners back into the postseason for the first time since 2001.

Royals to Skip Rookie’s Start

Kansas City, Mo. — Royals right-hander Yordano Ventura will miss his next start due to soreness in his back, and Liam Hendricks will make his first start for the club today since arriving in a trade from Toronto.

The emergence of Ventura has been one of the reasons Kansas City has climbed into first place in the AL Central. The hard-throwing rookie is 10-9 with a 3.40 ERA this season.

Royals manager Ned Yost said he hopes that Ventura will only need to miss one start.

Injured Tiger Has Setback

Detroit — The Detroit Tigers will have their pitching depth tested for at least a little bit longer now that Anibal Sanchez is dealing with a setback in his recovery from a right pectoral strain.

Sanchez said he was feeling better Tuesday, but he experienced pain while throwing Monday. Manager Brad Ausmus said Sanchez will not be able to return for Saturday’s doubleheader against the Chicago White Sox.

“With the situation we are (in) right now, of course I’m concerned,” Sanchez said. “I don’t like being on the bench, just seeing everything happen. I know the team is going to do very well, we’re going to start playing better. Personally, I’m a very competitive person, and I like being on the mound all of the time.”

Detroit has struggled this month amid injuries to Sanchez and Justin Verlander, falling out of first place in the AL Central.

Sanchez is 8-5 with a 3.46 ERA, but he hasn’t pitched since Aug. 8.