For the White Sox, who had never been part of a replay review, it worked for the first time.
Third-base umpire Dan Iassogna's initial ruling on Inge's drive down the left-field line off a sixth-inning pitch from White Sox starter Freddy Garcia was that it stayed inside the foul pole for a home run. But Inge's angle as he rounded first base prepared him for the change to come.
"A lot of times on home runs like that, you have a better angle from second base," Inge said. "The ball gets out to a certain point, and as it's hooking, you can tell. You can see the way it's hooking. When I was at first, I could tell it was right near it, and I was waiting to see if it would just nick the pole. That would be the only way, because I knew it was going to wrap around the inside of it."
Once he didn't see any bounce off the pole, he didn't see much hope. He still had to round the bases, but he expected it was for nothing.
"Actually, I was trying to prepare myself for [the rest of] the at-bat," Inge said. "That's the first time I ran around the bases where I knew it was going to get called back. Once I saw Pierre [protest], I knew they would review it. And from where I was, I was 99 percent sure that it was not a home run. So I was trying to prepare myself for having to get back in the box. Didn't enjoy that one."
It wasn't just Pierre arguing, but also shortstop Alexei Ramirez and third baseman Mark Teahen.
"I was shocked that he made the fair call, but it's a pretty hard call because they have the yellow line that's kind of foul," Pierre said. "But I saw where it hit the top, to the left of [the pole]. I was a little adamant about it. Usually you don't do that. It was a big run, a big situation in the game."
Crew chief Dale Scott led the umpires into the tunnel behind home plate at Comerica Park, where the replay monitor is located. Replays showed the ball cleared to the left of the foul pole without touching it, thus making it a foul ball.
"That was a big run," said White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen. "It could have been 4-3 and not 4-2 with Freddy on the mound. That was a big break for us. Hopefully things turn to our side now."
Scott changed the ruling and summoned Inge back to the plate as the crowd of 28,155 at Comerica Park booed. Tigers manager Jim Leyland consulted briefly with Scott, but didn't dispute the call, having heard from players watching in the clubhouse what replays on television showed.
"I knew all our guys were saying it was foul," Leyland said. "I told them to watch it, make sure they looked at it, and let me know. Because in a situation like that, you don't want to go out there and make a fool of yourself on a foul ball. The umpires called it right, and that's all you can ask."
Inge eventually popped out to first as Garcia proceeded to retire the Tigers in order.
It was the first review the Tigers have encountered this year, and the sixth involving the Tigers since Major League Baseball introduced instant replay on Sept. 3, 2008. Five of those replays involved Tigers home runs. Inge becomes the second Tiger to have a would-be home run overturned; Dusty Ryan had a home run changed to a double on June 19, 2009, against Milwaukee.
Scott and his crew reviewed that home run as well, as well as a Miguel Cabrera homer in that same game that was initially ruled a single.
Instant replay has been used 78 times on home-run calls, with 27 overturned.