Tigers acknowledge, but don't blame close calls

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Like the rest of the Detroit Tigers, second baseman Ramon Santiago packed his bags Saturday night in the visitors clubhouse at Rangers Ballpark for the last time this season.

The mood was somber, the Tigers not yet ready to consider the accomplishment of advancing to the ALCS with the taste of the Rangers’ 15-5 blowout in the decisive Game 6 still fresh.

Despite the 10 runs that separated the teams at the end, Santiago couldn’t help but look back at a couple of close calls that went the Rangers' way in the decisive nine-run third inning.

First base umpire Tim Welke ruled Nelson Cruz checked his swing on a 2-2 pitch before drawing a walk to load the bases with Texas leading 3-2.

A couple of batters later, with Texas leading 5-2, Santiago bobbled pinch hitter Craig Gentry’s ground ball momentarily, but recovered and flipped to shortstop Jhonny Peralta covering second in an attempt to force David Murphy.

Umpire Larry Vanover called Murphy safe, a decision that brought Tigers’ manager Jim Leyland out of the dugout.

“I thought we had him at second,’’ Santiago said. “And I thought Cruz went around. I was in a good position to see it. But you can’t put the game on that. And no excuses, I’m not blaming anybody.

“We still didn’t think we were out of it, even after they got nine. In this ballpark, teams can score.’’

Leyland, in his postgame meeting with the media, questioned the logic of complaining about a call in a lopsided game. He began his comments by praising the Rangers.


“I do think -- I’ll be honest with you, the play at second base, I looked a couple of times, I really can’t tell to this point it was so close,’’ Leyland said.

“I do and still will always question the check swing on Cruz. I thought that was definitely a strike. I thought he definitely swung.’’

Scherzer referred to “a call not going our way,’’ but said he wasn’t going to “say anything about any calls.’’

The Tigers starter, who was charged six earned runs in 2 1/3 innings, said it felt to him like he had 3-2 counts all night and couldn’t execute his pitch.

“I replay that third inning and it all started with a one-out walk,’’ Scherzer said.