Leyland toes line, Tigers balk at umps' call

BOSTON -- Tigers manager Jim Leyland took the high road after a 4-1 loss to the Red Sox that was called because of rain with the Tigers having the bases loaded with two outs in the sixth.

But according to another club official, the Tigers filed a complaint with the commissioner’s office when the game was postponed after an hour and 45 minute wait. The Tigers’ contention was two-fold, according to the official: They questioned whether the game should have started at all, given the fact it was raining steadily from the first inning onward. But once the decision was made to play, the game should not have been halted at that juncture unless the umpires had a reasonable certainty the game would be resumed.

Otherwise, the official said, the Tigers should have been allowed to complete the inning -- there were two outs -- before play was interrupted.

“You can't do anything about it,’’ Leyland said. “The weather didn't cooperate very good all night, but that's the way it goes. People have to make decisions and you respect that.’’

Asked if he was surprised that Omar Infante, the next scheduled hitter, was not allowed to bat before play was called, Leyland said, “Well, I don’t know, at some point umpires have to make a call. It's a tough call, whether we could have got through that. You know you've got the bases loaded, and you’re a little bit excited that you've got a shot, but the umpires do the best they can with that stuff.

“We had been playing in some pretty heavy rain and I think that Jerry [Layne, the crew chief] just decided at that point that he needed to stop it. He gave it a good shot to try to get it in, but from what I hear it's not supposed to stop until around 1 or 1:30. Certainly to call the game at this point, I thought was the right call.

“Could we have maybe gotten through that inning, who knows? Like I said that's a tough situation for an umpire and I think that they definitely made the right call to call it. So be it. We put ourselves in an unfortunate situation.’’

The Tigers are locked in a tight race with the White Sox in the American League Central, so their frustration was understandable. They could also wind up battling for a wild-card spot with the Red Sox.

The weather brought an end to Justin Verlander’s 63-game streak of going six or more innings in a start. Leyland said that even though Verlander was at 107 pitches and trailing, he planned to bring him out for the home half of the sixth.

“Yeah, I was going to unless we had a situation where there was a little delay or something, or a long inning, then he was going to come out.’’

Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine gave a tongue-in-cheek response when asked about the game being halted with the Tigers threatening.

"I think it's a great rule,’’ he said. “Perfect."