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Tigers' Gose reveals flaw in re-tag rule

Chris McCosky
The Detroit News
Anthony Gose might have unknowingly revealed a flaw in the re-tag rule in Saturday's 2-1 win over the Royals.

Kansas City, Mo. — Tigers manager Brad Ausmus thinks Anthony Gose unwittingly exposed a loophole in the re-tag rule.

The play occurred in the seventh inning Saturday. Gose was running on the pitch when Ian Kinsler hit a fly ball to center field. Unaware of where the ball was, Gose slid into second base but quickly realized he had to hustle back to first.

The rule states that he has to re-touch second base before going back to first. Replays showed that he did re-touch second base. However, the replay also confirmed that his first step after retouching was toward third base.

Even though he had no intent on going to third, he still needed to re-touch second base.

"By the letter of the law, he is out," Ausmus said. "It's about where his foot was. It's a little bit of a flaw in the rule because he did re-touch the base. But because his foot was on the third-base side of the bag, it is considered not re-touched.

"It's a little bit of a loophole."

Gose had his foot on second base when he got up and started to motor back to first. His first movement, though, was an awkward pivot which took him to the third base side of the base.

"It's the first time I've ever been a part of that," said Gose, who had three hits and scored a run. "I panicked when it was a fly ball. I had slid and didn't know where the ball was. I just wasn't thinking."

It was clear, though, that Gose had no intention of running to third.

"There was no intent," Ausmus said. "By the letter of the law, he had to re-touch it again. They got the call right in that sense. But I think it's a flaw in the rule. He made no move to go to third base."

Speed factor

Besides the three hits, Gose also helped produce the Tigers' first run with a hard, clean slide into second base.

With Rajai Davis on second and Gose on first, Kinsler hit what looked to be a double-play ball. But Gose's hard slide into shortstop Christian Colon sent him off-balance. His throw was up the line and Davis was able to score.

"Just trying to break it up," Gose said. "You want to extend the inning in that situation and get Miggy (Cabrera) up there. Who doesn't want Miggy hitting with runners on base?

He doubled and scored the second run in the fifth. The double would have been a single — it was a bloop into short left field — had it not been for Gose's speed.

"He had a nice night," Ausmus said. "When he gets on base from the leadoff position, he can take a little of the focus off the hitter behind him. He's got good speed and he likes to use it."

Big blast

David Price wasn't at all bitter about the 413-foot bomb Royals' Lorenzo Cain launched to ruin his shutout in the ninth inning. In fact, he was duly impressed.

"That was a good pitch to Cain," Price said. "A really good pitch. He's turned himself into a star, not just because he hit a home run off of me, but he's one of the top players in baseball. It's tough to get him out four times in a game."

Catcher Alex Avila said the Tigers tried to sneak an inside fastball by him. Nothing doing.

"Cain's having an excellent year," Avila said. "David made a really good pitch and Cain put a good swing on it. In that situation, that was the time to take a shot in there like that. There was nobody on, we were up two. You have to tip your cap to him. He hit a good pitch, a mid-90s fastball that he was able to get on top of."

Price was undaunted. He came right back to strike out Eric Hosmer to end the game.

Martinez just missing

Victor Martinez is starting to get annoyed. Not because the pain in his left knee is limiting his ability to drive the ball left-handed, but because he is able to drive the ball — and he doesn't have anything to show for it.

"He's starting to get frustrated because he feels like he's close," Ausmus said. "He definitely looks better. It's just a matter of getting a few to drop in."

Martinez flew out deep to center and lined out to left. He also turned on a pitch and drove long but just foul down the right-field line.

"It's getting better," he said. "It's a matter of finding holes now. It's part of the game. You just have to keep grinding, keep working."

Chris McCosky on Twitter @cmccosky