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Manny Acta addresses Mariners’ costly miscommunication

JaCoby Jones may have been out on this play had the Mariners used a challenge. (AP)

DETROIT – It is impossible to know what the replay officials would have determined on the play at the plate in the sixth inning of the Mariners’ 4-3 loss to the Tigers in Game 1 of Saturday’s doubleheader, but screen shots seemed to show that Mike Zunino got the tag on Tigers outfielder JaCoby Jones before he crossed the plate (watch the play here).

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Jones was called safe on the field with no challenge coming from the Mariners bench. After the game, Manny Acta, who stepped up from his bench coach position to manage the doubleheader in Scott Servais’ absence, shed a little light on why he did not challenge the play on the field.

“We had a miscommunication over the phone,” Acta said. “The people that were involved in it, I’m not going to point fingers. We win and lose as a team. It shouldn’t happen but it did.”

When asked for more of an explanation, Acta got a little more specific.

“It was a misunderstanding about he was out or he was safe,” he said. “Then once that is communicated with me, I communicate with the umpire. That was the issue. It was a misunderstanding over the phone about the word ‘he was out’ or ‘he wasn’t out.'”

Typically in potential replay situations, the manager will remain on the top step giving a hold sign to the home plate umpire. At the same time, a coach picks up the phone to the video room to get the decision on whether or not the call should be challenged. With no call for replay, the game resumed. Marco Gonzales gave up a two-run home run to the next batter, Jose Iglesias, which put the Tigers up 4-1.

“It was a cutter, tried to go backdoor,” said Gonzales, who declined to talk about the previous play at the plate. “It had been great all day. (Iglesias) had a jump on it and it drifted back over the plate.”

After the game, the Mariners added Dan Altavilla as the 26th player, which is allowed in the second game of doubleheaders.

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