Gordon's out at plate looms large in loss

Marlins stand by decision to send speedster home on Dietrich's double

Gordon's out at plate looms large in loss

CINCINNATI -- When a part of the game turns into a sprint, the Marlins like their chances with Dee Gordon running. But as fast as the fleet-footed Miami second baseman is, he couldn't out-run the Reds' perfectly executed relay.

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In the fifth inning on Sunday, Gordon attempted to score from first on Derek Dietrich's double to center. In a flash, Gordon was tagged out at the plate at a pivotal point in a game the Reds won, 5-2, at Great American Ball Park.

In hindsight, Miami manager Dan Jennings had no regrets over third-base coach Lenny Harris' decision to send Gordon with no outs in a 2-2 game.

"We're going to be aggressive, and certainly utilize Dee's speed," Jennings said.

The Marlins challenged the call, believing Gordon's left hand swiped the plate before catcher Brayan Pena's tag.

But after reviewing the play for two-minutes, 34-seconds, the call on the field stood, and the Reds saved a big run.

"With Dee's speed, you have to like your chances in any situation like that," Jennings said. "Again, there's no outs. But at the same time, when you have that speed, it can negate the fact there's no outs. I don't fault Lenny at all for giving that an opportunity, giving it a chance.

"We've asked him to be aggressive out there. It did not work out at that time. We knew it was no outs. It was just a case where we're trying to utilize the speed. They made a great relay. It ended up not working out."

Gordon singled to open the inning, and Dietrich crushed the ball to deep center. It bounced off the wall, and it was handled by Billy Hamilton, who threw to Eugenio Suarez, who threw a perfect strike home. Pena applied a tag with the glove, but the ball was in his right hand.

Miami officials, after breaking down numerous angles, believe Gordon actually was safe. But replay officials saw nothing conclusive to overturn.

"They just made a great play," Gordon said. "It's part of the game. Those guys, they go out there and work out, just as we do. They made a great play. That's part of it."

As he was sliding in head-first, Gordon wasn't sure if he was safe or out.

"I didn't even know I hit the plate," the speedster said. "I closed my eyes when he ran at me. But replay, it looked safe."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.