Ruggiano: "I never felt a tag"
Rays leftfielder Justin Ruggiano felt it was clear he scored the tying run in the seventh inning, when home plate umpire John Tumpmane made the controversial call that he was out at home.
The call ended the inning, and though the Rays ended up tying the game before losing 2-1 in extra innings, it was still a sore subject in the Rays clubhouse. Both manager Joe Maddon and lefty David Price were ejected for arguing the incident.
"I never felt a tag - never," Ruggiano said. "Human mistake, that's what this game is all about.. I felt like at the moment my foot was actually on the plate when I was called out. Maybe he didn't have a good angle. That happens."
Ruggiano tried a feet first slide, with Tigers catcher Alex Avila blocking the plate. Ruggiano said his leg initially hit Avila's ankle, but he felt he touched the plate.
"Whether or not I got in on the first attempt or not, I'm pretty sure I did,' Ruggiano said. "But if I didn't, I know I got on the second attempt."
Tumpane wasn't available for comment. But crew chief Mike Everitt supported Tumpane, saying he did a "great job" and was "very proud of him."
“In his judgement, he believed (Ruggiano) was tagged out before he touched the plate," Everitt said. "In his judgment, he was out. He did a great job. That was a tough game. I’m very proud of him.”
Avila wasn't even sure if he got the tag down.
"I thought I might have got him on the foot," Avila said. "But I wasn't sure. He didn't touch the plate until the end."