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Lineup confusion leads to Red Sox protest

The Rays remove their DH in the eighth and move reliever Adam Kolarek to first base for one batter, setting the stage for an outcry by Boston.
Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora argues with the umpires after Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Adam Kolarek (56) went back on the mound in the eighth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Tropicana Field on Wednesday, July 24, 2019 in St. Petersburg. Kolarek was taken off the mound and put at first base before returning back to the mound which sparked a 15 minute delay as both team managers talked with the umpires about the situation. The Red Sox are protesting the game. DIRK SHADD   |   Times
Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora argues with the umpires after Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Adam Kolarek (56) went back on the mound in the eighth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Tropicana Field on Wednesday, July 24, 2019 in St. Petersburg. Kolarek was taken off the mound and put at first base before returning back to the mound which sparked a 15 minute delay as both team managers talked with the umpires about the situation. The Red Sox are protesting the game. DIRK SHADD | Times
Published Jul. 24, 2019|Updated Jul. 25, 2019

ST. PETERSBURG — A pair of delays during Wednesday’s game featured lengthy exchanges between umpires and managers over what Red Sox manager Alex Cora said he thought was an illegal substitution.

The umpiring crew, led by Angel Hernandez, determined that the Rays did not violate any rules with their substitutions in the eighth inning, prompting Cora to protest the game.

Chaz Roe replaced fellow Rays reliever Adam Kolarek with one out in the inning. But manager Kevin Cash kept Kolarek in the game, moving him over to first base to replace Ji-Man Choi.

Hernandez said that Cash did not specify where Roe would hit in the lineup. He cited rule 5.10(b), which states “the umpire-in-chief shall have the authority to designate the substitutes’ place in the batting order.” Kolarek was placed in the third spot of the lineup, replacing DH Austin Meadows. Roe was placed in the ninth spot, replacing Choi.

“(Cora) wanted to know what was going on, so we told him it didn’t alter the outcome of anything that had happened so far,” Hernandez said.

After the decision from Hernandez, Cora said he was left feeling rattled. “We felt that they made some illegal substitutions,” Cora said. “It was a mess at one point. I wasn’t even able to keep up with Angel, so we protested the game.”

Cora argued that the Rays had two pitchers on the field but that both were not accounted for in the lineup. Roe faced one batter, getting Mookie Betts on a flyout. Kolarek then returned to the mound to finish the inning, replaced at first by Nate Lowe.

According to rule 7.04, “no replay of the game will be ordered unless in the opinion of the League President the violation adversely affected the protesting team’s chances of winning the game.”

It was the first time the Rays had played under protest since Aug. 23, 2014 at Toronto.

“There appeared to be some confusion, but I’m confident that we got it right,” Cash said. “It’s not customary, what took place, but I’m glad the guys were able to still execute.”

Alvarado working out

Left-handed reliever Jose Alvarado worked out on the field before the game against the Red Sox. Alvarado, on the injured list with a right oblique strain retro to July 7, threw off flat ground and ran along the warning track.

The 24-year-old said he is changing his diet and hopes to get in better shape as he prepares to return to the active roster. “You want all the guys to be in as quality of shape as possible,” Cash said. “If this time allows him to do that, good for him.”

Through his first 26 games, Alvarado posted a 3.09 ERA in 23⅓ innings. Alvarado left the team after June 1, and he missed most of that month. In four appearances since returning, Alvarado has an 18.90 ERA over 3⅓ innings.

“Let’s get him back to where he was at the start,” Cash said. “He’s got to be a big part of the back end of our bullpen.”

Miscellany

Infielder Daniel Robertson made his second rehab start with advanced Class A Charlotte on Wednesday, going 2-for-4 with two strikeouts at the plate and playing five innings at third. … Shortstop Willy Adames got the day off against the Red Sox. The move gives Adames two days off to regroup. Adames has struck out 37 times in his past 23 games. “Willy is grinding, like a lot of the other guys are right now,” Cash said. “A day off, doubled with an off day, will do him some good.”

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Contact Ryan Kolakowski at rkolakowski@tampabay.com. Follow @RyanKolakowski.

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