Minneapolis, MN – For the second straight night, the New York Yankees had a home run hit against them that needed to be confirmed by instant replay.
Unlike the controversial home run upheld a day before, Thursday's call at Target Field went the Yankees' way, and it resulted in Twins manager Ron Gardenhire hitting the showers early.
In the bottom of the first inning, Justin Morneau hit a towering fly ball down the right-field line against CC Sabathia. The ball cleared the fence, though it landed well right of the foul pole. Nonetheless, first base umpire Jim Wolf ruled the ball fair, giving Morneau a two-run homer.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi immediately disputed the call, and replay was used to determine when the ball passed the foul pole. After reviewing the tape, the call was reversed.
The combatable Gardenhire thought otherwise, and argued the ball was hit high enough that it went directly over the foul pole as it cleared the fence. He was ejected by home plate umpire Brian O'Nora for disputing the call, and Morneau struck out in the extended at-bat.
Instant replay was fresh in the Yankees' memory after it was incorrectly used in Wednesday's game against Kansas City at Kauffman Stadium.
Royals designated hitter Billy Butler was credited with a solo home run in the third inning despite hitting a ball that hit off the top of the padded green wall in left-center field and bounced back in play. A small chain-link fence was behind the wall, leading to more padding on the railing.
Girardi disputed that home run as well, but the ruling stood following an instant replay review. The Yankees did not protest the call and ended up losing by one, 5-4.
Joe Torre, Major League Baseball's executive vice president of baseball operations, was quoted in a report on MLB.com as saying "there really was a misunderstanding about what the ground rule represented."
"The universal ground rule is 'out of the ballpark.' It has to disappear, basically," Torre added in the report.
Regardless, the Yankees lost Wednesday's game, though they got some retribution on Morneau's reversal 24 hours later.