Most Red Sox fans thought home-plate umpire Jerry Meals made a poor call Monday night when he called Daniel Nava out at the plate to end the eighth inning.
Well, Meals would agree with that.
The veteran umpire spoke with Ken Powtak of The Associated Press after Tampa Bay’s 2-1 win at Fenway Park, and he admitted after seeing the replay that he had botched the call.
“What I saw was: Molina blocked the plate and Nava’s foot lifted,” Meals said. “But in the replays, you could clearly see Nava’s foot got under for a split second and then lifted, so I was wrong on my decision. From the angle I had, I did not see his foot get under Molina’s shin guard.”
Nava, who was pinch-running for Ryan Lavarnway, was unable to score from second when Stephen Drew doubled over Wil Myers‘ head in right field. Nava then tried to tag up from third base on Brandon Snyder‘s flyout, but Rays left fielder Sam Fuld fired a strike to the plate, and Meals called Nava out, prompting a vociferous appeal that led to manager John Farrell‘s ejection.
The Red Sox put two runners in scoring position in the ninth against Fernando Rodney, but the Rays closer struck out Mike Napoli to end the game and give Tampa Bay sole possession of first place in the American League East.