TORONTO -- Pitcher James Shields now has 29 pickoffs in his career, thanks to an instant replay challenge by Royals manager Ned Yost in Thursday night's 8-6 win in 10 innings.
With two out in the Blue Jays' fifth inning and Anthony Gose on first base, Shields fired a throw to first baseman Eric Hosmer. Close play, but umpire Adrian Johnson called Gose safe. Yost issued a challenge and the replay headquarters in New York agreed with him. The call was overturned and the inning was over.
That was Shields' 28th pickoff. Then in the sixth inning, he nabbed Melky Cabrera leading off of first base for his 29th. That's the most by any right-handed pitcher in the Majors since his career began in 2006. Shields has five for the Royals, two this year.
Minutes later, in the top of the sixth, Yost was in a challenging mood again. This time, with one out and runners at second and third, Blue Jays reliever Steve Delabar bounced a pitch that home-plate umpire Angel Hernandez ruled hit batter Nori Aoki.
Yost thought it missed Aoki and was a wild pitch, allowing Lorenzo Cain to score from third base. However, the replay ruling was that the call stands. Aoki went to first, Cain went back to third and Alcides Escobar back to second. That proved important because Omar Infante lined into a double play, Escobar caught off second.
"Nori didn't get hit and we were trying to challenge that. And that cost us a run right there," Yost said.
That gave the Royals a 6-5 record in their challenges under the new instant replay system.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less