ARLINGTON, Texas — Thanks to video replay, Adrian Beltre had the longest home-run trot in Rangers history Tuesday.
In the fifth inning, Beltre hit a 1-0 pitch off Cleveland starter Ubaldo Jimenez that looked like it would carry out of the park to left-center.
However, Beltre had to quickly put on the breaks after he rounded second base when the ball bounced back onto the field and was thrown back to the infield.
Rangers manager Ron Washington came out to plead the case that Beltre’s shot was a home run, since the ball bounced so high when it landed. If the 388-foot blast had hit the padding that covers the wall between the out-of-town scoreboard and visitors’ bullpen, it would have deadened the rebound.
The umpires had a quick conference and agreed to take a look at the replay monitor underneath the stands.
Meanwhile, Beltre remained on second base, wondering what the heck just happened.
“I didn’t know,” Beltre said. “I saw the ball jump off of the fence, I didn’t see it hit the top. Just when I looked, I saw the ball coming back to the field, but I had no idea what happened.”
Close-ups of the wall didn’t show a dent in the padding, but did show a metal beam just behind the wall that the ball likely struck and ricocheted off of.
When the umpires emerged, the home-run signal was given and Beltre completed his trot around the bases.
“When the ball hit the top of the fence, the way it bounced up, I said it couldn’t hit the top of the fence and just jump out like that. It had to hit something,” Washington said.
“So, that was my argument. They didn’t give me any argument back, they just decided to go look at it. Turned out it was a home run.”
It also was the first time replay has been used to change a non-home run into a home run for a Rangers batter.
It was the sixth time umpires have used replay in a game involving the Rangers in 2012 and the second time in Arlington. The first was when replay upheld a double by Boston’s Jarrod Saltalamacchia on July 23.
The only other replay instances this season involving Rangers batters were June 19 at San Diego, when a Beltre homer was upheld, and Aug. 8 at Boston, when a foul ball hit by Nelson Cruz was upheld.