Around baseball: Umpires suspended, fined for latest error

Saturday May 11, 2013 12:39 PM
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In a week in which umpires twice became the story of games because of high-profile mistakes, Major League Baseball took action yesterday, handing a two-game suspension to Fieldin Culbreth, the umpire who on Thursday incorrectly allowed an illegal pitching change in a game between the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Angels.

The Culbreth controversy erupted when Houston’s rookie manager, Bo Porter, tried to remove a pitcher, Wesley Wright, who had yet to pitch to a batter. Porter, reacting to a pinch-hitter announcement, wanted to bring in Hector Ambriz instead.

The switch was questioned by Angels manager Mike Scioscia. But Culbreth ruled against Scioscia, and the Angels said they would play the remainder of the game under protest. They went on to win, 6-5.

Yesterday, MLB ruled that Culbreth’s decision was a clear violation and that Wright should have been forced to pitch to a batter. Fines were issued to the other umpires of his crew: Brian O’Nora, Bill Welke and Adrian Johnson.

The Culbreth ruling came two days after Angel Hernandez, the second base umpire and crew chief in a game between the Cleveland Indians and Oakland Athletics, incorrectly said a tying home run by Adam Rosales of the Athletics had not cleared the wall, instead ruling it a double.

LAST NIGHT’S HIGHLIGHTS

Red Sox 5, Blue Jays 0: Jon Lester pitched a one-hitter, allowing only Maicer Izturis’ two-out double in the sixth inning, and host Boston broke a three-game losing streak.

Rays 6, Padres 3: Alex Cobb struck out 13 in 42/3 innings and Ryan Roberts and Ben Zobrist drove in two runs apiece to help host Tampa Bay rally over San Diego.

Cobb became the first pitcher in major-league history to strike out that many batters and fail to make it through the fifth. The right-hander left after throwing 117 pitches.

Cardinals 3, Rockies 0: Shelby Miller gave up a leadoff single then retired 27 in a row for his first career complete game, leading host St. Louis over Colorado.

The right-hander struck out 13, tying a Cardinals rookie record.

Nationals 7, Cubs 3: Ian Desmond’s three hits included a two-run homer and an RBI double, and Danny Espinosa and Kurt Suzuki also drove in runs with doubles, helping host Washington to its season-high fifth consecutive victory.

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