Zobrist's triple becomes homer after review
Shot hits off railing above wall and ricochets onto field
CLEVELAND -- Before Saturday night, Ben Zobrist didn't particularly care that Major League Baseball employed instant replay for home run calls.
He does now.
Zobrist's two-run triple became a three-run homer after home-plate umpire and crew chief Mike Everitt reviewed the play in the fifth inning of the Rays' 6-3 win over the Indians at Progressive Field.
The opposite-field blast erased the Tribe's 3-0 lead and helped snap Tampa Bay's 18-game losing streak in Cleveland, where it had not won since Sept. 28, 2005.
Following two-out singles by Kelly Shoppach and Jason Bartlett, Zobrist hit Indians starter Mitch Talbot's 1-0 fastball off a railing above the wall in left. He motored to third base as the ball caromed back into play and rolled toward the infield.
The hit was initially ruled a triple before Everitt changed it to a homer after a review of one minute, 20 seconds.
"I asked the umpires to convene and they did," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. "That's all you can ask for. When they did, I appreciated it. Whatever happened after that, I'll take it."
Everitt's decision certainly pleased Maddon and the Rays, though it came as no surprise to Talbot.
"The way it came right back onto the field, I figured it hit the railing," Talbot said.
Zobrist wasn't nearly as sure.
"I just assumed it was off the wall or something," Zobrist said.
As it turned out, the ball in fact went over the wall. And Zobrist has instant replay to thank for that realization.
Asked if he's in favor of the technology, Zobrist offered an emphatic reply.
"Absolutely," he said.
John Barone is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.