TORONTO -- The Blue Jays have been pushed to the brink of elimination, and the inning that started it all seemed harmless before devolving into frustration.
Toronto and Texas were tied at 4 as the 14th inning began on Friday at Rogers Centre, with right-hander LaTroy Hawkins retiring the first two batters he faced. The Blue Jays' bullpen appeared on the verge of its sixth consecutive scoreless inning, but instead the Rangers pieced together a pair of runs to secure a 6-4 win in Game 2 of the best-of-five American League Division Series.
There were a pair of infield hits, a replay of a tough call at second base and a close play at the plate before a third out was recorded. For Toronto, it meant heading to Texas down 2-0 in the ALDS.
"I just have to make better pitches, that's all," said Hawkins, who allowed three consecutive hits with two outs. "My stuff was good. I just missed over the plate, and when that happens you get hurt."
The issues for Hawkins began when Rougned Odor barely beat out a ground ball to third baseman Josh Donaldson for an infield hit. Rangers catcher Chris Gimenez then followed with an opposite-field single to right, and that's when things got a little bit wacky.
Toronto right fielder Jose Bautista threw behind Odor at second base. The decision appeared to catch Odor off guard, as he barely got back in time after rounding the bag. Odor beat the throw back to the bag, but the Blue Jays felt his foot came off as shortstop Troy Tulowitzki kept the tag on.
The call on the field was safe, but the Blue Jays challenged. Following review, the call stood. That frustrated Baustista, among others.
"I would like to hear an answer from the replay booth in New York on why they made the decision," Bautista said. "I know that's not part of the protocol, but it seems pretty convenient that it's not. So will we ever get an answer? Will our fans ever get an answer? I don't know. Maybe you should ask the people that are in charge."
In fact, the league did provide that information. According to an MLB spokesman, the Replay Command Center could not definitively determine that Odor's foot lost contact with the base at any time while the tag was being applied, so the call was allowed to stand.
The game was decided in the very next at-bat, when Hanser Alberto hit an RBI single to right field. Delino DeShields later added an insurance run on an infield single to shortstop that capped the two-run frame.
"I know I was safe because I never got off the base," Odor said.