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05/16/09 7:28 PM ET
Cuddyer caught in unusual double play
Outfielder doesn't touch second base on way back to first
By Kelly Thesier / MLB.com
NEW YORK -- The Yankees turned a double play on a sacrifice fly during what was a strange sequence of events in the second inning of Saturday's 6-4 win over the Twins. Brian Buscher recorded the second out of the inning for the Twins with his sac fly to center that scored Justin Morneau from third base to put Minnesota up, 1-0. Twins right fielder Michael Cuddyer, who was standing on first base, took off and slid into second on the play. When Cuddyer realized that the ball was caught, he got up and ran back to first. But when he slid, Cuddyer's right foot came off the bag, and second-base umpire and crew chief John Hirschbeck ruled that he never retagged second base. "I didn't get a chance to see the replay, but I thought I was on the bag and ran back," Cuddyer said. "He didn't see it that way." The ruling allowed the Yankees to complete an inning-ending double play, even though Cuddyer made it back to first base. Yankees center fielder Brett Gardner caught the ball for the sacrifice fly and then threw it to catcher Francisco Cervelli. The ball was then thrown to shortstop Derek Jeter, who was standing on second base, to record the out of Cuddyer on what was an 8-8-2-6 double play. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire went out to talk with Hirschbeck following the play and was explained the ruling. "He slid into the bag, bounced off the bag and John said that he didn't retag the bag," Gardenhire said. "We thought he was standing on the bag. But the umpire is standing right there. He's paying attention. It looked like he stepped on the bag, but he stepped by it. I don't know if video showed it or not. I kind of trust Mr. Hirschbeck. He's been doing it a long time and was looking right at it."
Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.