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Kill the umpire! Well, not so fast

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  August 14, 2011 09:23 PM

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SEATTLE — The Sox weren't real happy with second base umpire Ed Hickox today. They thought he blew the call in the third inning when Kyle Seager was called safe at second base.

Jed Lowrie caught the throw from Adrian Gonzalez behind the base and darted away to avoid the runner. Replays showed he was close to the base. But Hickox told the Sox that Lowrie was so far away he no choice but to make the call.

“I really thought he grazed the bag. [But] it doesn’t matter what I think,” said Terry Francona, who argued the call. “I think you have to be pretty sure on that one if you’re going to make a call like that. After you look at the replay, I don’t know how he can be sure.”

Umpires commonly call runners out in such situations if the fielder is in the vicinity of the base. At worst, Lowrie was close.

“Just knowing that I touched the base … It’s a bad situation. It probably cost a couple of runs. Nothing we can do about it now,” said Lowrie who was charged with an error.

Several Sox suggested several times that the call cost them the game. It certainly didn't help. But even if Seager were out, the Mariners would have had runners on first and third and one out. They well could have scored three runs in that inning anyway.

A bigger issue is that rookie Charlie Furbush bamboozled the Sox for six innings, throwing a fastball across his body that they never could square up He dropped a curveball into lefties and a changeup to righties, too. The kid from Maine will remember this game for a long time.

The Sox have hit a little funk, dropping three of four. They have a day off tomorrow and then three games in a span of 28 hours or so against the Rays. That will be followed by eight more games on the road including four at Texas

“We have kind of a weird schedule coming up. We have to play better,” Dustin Pedroia said.

Meanwhile Tim Wakefield is now 0 for 4 trying for his 200th win. He admitted it was on his mind the first two tries. Now he's just worried about helping the Sox win. Personal milestones take a back seat at this point of the season.

Wake has a 4.08 ERA in his last four starts. That he is pitching well and chewing up innings suggests that No. 200 will come soon enough.

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Thanks to everybody for reading this weekend. It's fun to do the updates. Ideally, I'd like to do them more often but it's hard for night games because of the newspaper deadlines.

We'll have draft-pick signing updates on the blog tomorrow night and of course coverage of the Rays series starting Tuesday.

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