The crew's reversal negated a three-run homer by Florida's Mike
Lowell, and Barrett's homer and career-high five RBI helped
Montreal win 10-2 Monday night.
Play was halted for 7 minutes in the fourth inning when fans
upset about the reversal threw magnetic schedules -- a giveaway gift
-- and other items onto the field.
"I thought the game was going to be ended due to a riot,"
Lowell's apparent homer to left temporarily made the score
3-all. When third base umpire Chuck Meriwether called the ball
fair, Montreal manager Frank Robinson and left fielder Brad
Wilkerson argued. Meriwether then consulted with the other umpires
and was overruled by second base umpire Tim McClelland, the crew
"I saw the ball foul," McClelland said. "In order for me to
overrule it, I have to be 100 percent certain."
A TV replay showed the ball hooked foul, passing outside the
foul pole as it barely cleared the wall.
"The main thing is to get the play right," Robinson said. "If
that means changing the play, so be it."
Marlins manager Jeff Torborg sprinted onto the field to argue
and was ejected by McClelland.
"I'm a little shocked," McClelland said. "That's not like
Jeff Torborg. They want us to get the calls right. Tonight we do
that, and he goes berserk on us."
Said Torborg: "I was just complaining that the guy closest to
the play was overruled."
When Torborg departed, fans showered the field with objects, and
the umpires ordered players off the field.
"Nobody wants anybody throwing anything on the field and
hurting somebody," Torborg said. "But I'm glad they're here and
cared about us."
When the game resumed, Lowell grounded into an inning-ending
double play and the crowd booed again. And when Barrett homered off
A.J. Burnett in the next inning, fans jeered once more, with many
shouting and signaling in jest that the ball was foul.
Tony Armas (1-1) allowed both runs and four hits in 8 1-3
The small but boisterous crowd of 23,877 was the first
non-sellout for a Marlins home opener in the 10-season history of
the franchise. The attendance was lower than the crowd of 34,351
for the Expos' home opener against Florida last week. Both teams
are candidates for contraction because of sagging attendance.
Jeffrey Loria, who owned the Expos the past two years, attended
his first game as the Marlins owner and sat behind the Florida
dugout. By the seventh inning, his new team trailed his old team
10-0 and had been out-hit 14-1.
Barrett doubled home two runs in the fourth inning, hit his
third homer in the fifth and hiked his average to .458. All three
homers have come against the Marlins.
Armas avenged a loss to Burnett (1-1) in the second game of the
season. Burnett struck out eight but allowed six runs and 10 hits
in five innings.
Armas struck out seven and walked three. He had been 0-7
previously against Florida with a 7.24 ERA in seven starts, and 0-4
previously in April.
"I just went out there and made pitches," Armas said. "You
can be 0-20 against somebody but you still have to go out and do
New Marlins closer Braden Looper, who has a 27.00 ERA in
three games, was booed when introduced during the pregame
ceremonies. ... Olympic speedskater Jennifer Rodriguez of Miami
threw out one of four ceremonial first pitches. ... The smallest
previous crowd for a Marlins home opener was 35,101 in 2000. This
is only the second time Florida hasn't opened the season at home.
... Florida C Charles Johnson, who missed the first week of the
season with a sprained thumb, went 0-for-2 and left the game after
six innings but said his thumb felt fine.