TORONTO — Confusion over the new rule on home plate collisions reigned during the third inning of the Blue Jays' 4-0 win over the Yankees on Saturday.
The Yankees' Francisco Cervelli tried to score on Jacoby Ellsbury's two-out single, but was tagged by C John Thole and ruled out. After Yankees manager Joe Girardi argued, crew chief and plate umpire Dana DeMuth reviewed if Thole blocked the plate and if Cervelli beat the tag. DeMuth upheld both decisions. Girardi then came out again to speak to DeMuth.
"I wanted to know if I could protest the game," Girardi said. "But no, I'm not allowed."
Catchers cannot block a runner's path to the plate unless they have the ball. Replays showed Thole straddled the plate while awaiting the throw, then dropped his right knee to block Cervelli immediately after catching the ball.
"The way it was explained to us is if you're straddling the base in front, toward third base, that is considered to be blocking home plate," Girardi said. "To me, it's clear that he's doing that."
Cervelli, a catcher, acknowledged being "confused" when he saw Thole blocking his path.
"I was pretty sure what it's all about, but I've got to ask again what's going on," Cervelli said.
Even Thole acknowledged being unfamiliar with the rule.
"I don't know what I would have argued," he said. "The ball kind of took me up the line. I just went for the ball."
Teixeira on DL: Yankees 1B Mark Teixeira went on the DL a day after straining his right hamstring while fielding a grounder. Teixeira, limited to 15 games by a wrist injury in 2013, is scheduled for an MRI exam Monday. Former Ray Kelly Johnson will get the bulk of playing time in Teixeira's absence.
Two retire as Astros: OF/1B Lance Berkman and RHP Roy Oswalt signed one-day contracts and retired as Astros. Berkman, 38, spent 12 of his 15 seasons with Houston and is second in team history in homers, third in RBIs and fifth in hits. Oswalt, 36, spent 10 of his 13 seasons with Houston, was MVP of the 2005 NLCS and is second in team history in wins and strikeouts.
Dodgers: RF Yasiel Puig started a day after being benched for arriving late for a game. Puig, whose baserunning gaffes have frustrated the team, was picked off first during the third.
Pirates: GM Neal Huntington and manager Clint Hurdle signed extensions through 2017 with club options for 2018.
Reds: LH closer Aroldis Chapman, hit in the head by a liner March 20, started light workouts, though none are baseball related. Chapman, who had surgery for a broken bone above his left eye, hopes to return in May. Also, CF Billy Hamilton was scratched because of a jammed left middle finger sustained while caught stealing second base Friday. He is day to day.