Williams challenges, but call upheld in seventh

Williams challenges, but call upheld in seventh

VIERA, Fla. -- Nationals manager Matt Williams decided to take advantage of expanded instant replay for the second time in a week and he lost again, this time during a 2-1 defeat to the Tigers on Sunday afternoon.

With two outs in the top of the seventh inning, Tigers outfielder Ezequiel Carrera blooped a single to left field against left-hander Xavier Cedeno. After Carrera touched the bag and made the turn, it looked like left fielder Bryce Harper threw Carrera out at first base.

While Erick Dalton, the Nationals' coordinator of advance scouting and video, looked at the video tape, Williams delayed the game by having catcher Jose Lobaton talk to Cedeno.

Williams then went to first-base umpire Gary Cedestrom to challenge the call. Cedestrom and his crew checked the replay and -- in less than two minutes -- the umpires decided they were not going to reverse the call.

"It's all practice at this point," Williams said. "It's the seventh inning. We don't know if we are going to get another chance, so it's a question of the process today and doing it again. It's funny, you look at it and your eyes tell you safe or out."

It marked the second time in a week that Williams challenged a call. During Wednesday's 10-9 loss to the Astros, Lobaton hit into a double play in the sixth inning. Dalton relayed to bench coach Randy Knorr via walkie talkie that the play was close. Knorr then communicated the information to Williams, who went to first-base umpire Ryan Blackney to challenge the call.

The umpires checked the replay, and after 45 seconds the call was confirmed by replay official Toby Basner.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.