Robinson Cano estimated that Omar Infante was out by about five feet despite second base umpire Jeff Nelson ruling otherwise on a play in the eighth inning that led to two insurance runs.
Given an opportunity to see a replay, Nelson agreed that he did blow the call.
“I had the tag late and the hand going into the bag before the tag on the chest,” Nelson said. “The hand did not get in before the tag, the call was incorrect.”
Nelson later ejected Yankees manager Joe Girardi when he went from making a pitching change to argue the call. Girardi saw a replay during the game after it occurred and expressed his frustration at the lack of replay to overturn these calls.
“I have been thrown out of games enough to know it would be quicker to get the call right or wrong or right on replay than for me to go out there and argue,” Girardi said. “And they talk about the flow of the game.
“We work really hard to get to this point. I don’t have a problem with their effort. He hustled, he tried to get there. I understand that, but it’s an easy thing. It takes 30 seconds. It’s easy. You hear how quickly a crowd reacts.”
Infante scored Detroit’s second run after the blown call and the Tigers added one more.
It was the second blown call to go against the Yankees in the series. On Saturday, Cano was called out at first base by Rob Drake on a double play that ended the first inning. Replays showed Cano was safe and the Yankees lost in 12 innings.
“In this day and age when we have instant replay available to us, it’s got to change,” Girardi said. “These guys are under tremendous amounts of pressure. It is a tough call for him because the tag is underneath and it’s hard for him to see.
“I’m not saying if Robbie Cano is safe last night it changes the game. The outcome may be the same but I like to take my chances. There is more pressure on the pitchers when it is 1-0 in the eighth inning and your club is hitting than 3-0.”
Follow Yankees beat writer Larry Fleisher on Twitter @LarryFleisher for in-depth coverage throughout the postseason.