KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Baseball's new instant-replay system helped the Astros put an extra run on the board in the seventh inning of Wednesday's game against the Nationals, an eventual 10-9 win, at Osceola County Stadium.
With two outs and a runner on second base, Delino DeShields Jr. hit a grounder into the hole between third base and shortstop against Washington lefty Jerry Blevins. Shortstop Jose Lozada went to his right to make the stop and uncorked a long throw to Tyler Moore at first. DeShields was ruled out on a close play, and manager Bo Porter quickly made his first challenge of the game.
"We're in the third-base dugout, and I was able to have a clean look as Delino hit the base before the ball hit the first baseman's glove, so I had a pretty good idea when I left the dugout that he was safe," Porter said. "Our replay crew, they did a great job of getting it down to the dugout right away that he was safe, so it's definitely a benefit to have that late in the game."
Porter made two unsuccessful challenges in three previous spring games that featured instant replay, but this time the call was overturned. The entire process didn't take much more than a minute or so.
"With the modern technology that we have, I think that when the manager leaves the dugout, they have a pretty good idea you're going to challenge, so the video crew is already looking at the angles," Porter said. "By the time the umpires get to the headset, they have a pretty good idea of what the call's going to be."
Overturning the call put runners back on first and third with two outs, and Marwin Gonzalez followed with an RBI single to right field to cut Washington's lead to two runs.
Back in the top of the sixth inning, Nationals manager Matt Williams had challenged another call at first base after Jose Lobaton hit into a double play, but that time the call was upheld, in Houston's favor.