Solano followed protocol by tagging up late in loss

Solano followed protocol by tagging up late in loss

ST. LOUIS -- On a play where there was plenty of confusion and some chaos, it appears Donovan Solano did the right thing in the ninth inning of the Marlins' 3-2 loss on Friday to the Cardinals.

With the bases loaded against closer Trevor Rosenthal, Christian Yelich lifted a long fly to left-center. Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday ran into the gap, and he was unable to hold onto the ball, which dropped behind him.

Marcell Ozuna, who was on third, scored easily. But Solano went back to tag up at second, thinking the ball may be caught. Reed Johnson, on first, was at second as Solano retreated. Johnson urged Solano to advance. Yelich, meanwhile, thinking double, was halfway to second before he headed back to first.

When the play sorted itself out, Solano went to third, Johnson was on second and Yelich on first. Cardinals manager Mike Matheny issued a replay challenge, seeing if Johnson had passed Solano on the basepaths. The ruling on the field, however, was confirmed.

Johnson on Saturday broke down the play.

"Solano, in his situation, when you're on second base with nobody out, on a ball in the air, you're supposed to tag," Johnson said. "With one out, you pretty much get as far as you can. With no outs, he made the right decision."

What happened from Solano's standpoint is he was shielded by Holliday and couldn't tell if the ball was caught. Johnson, from his vantage point, saw the ball drop.

"I think where Solano was, he was kind of blocked out by Holliday's body, because he kind of slid and it fell," Johnson said. "I saw it kick away from him. I was telling him, 'Go, go, go! You don't have to come back and tag.'"

If Solano had kept going, Yelich would have had a two-run double, and Miami would have had second and third with no outs. The score would have been 3-2 for Ed Lucas, who eventually struck out. Giancarlo Stanton followed, drawing a bases-loaded walk, making it 3-2, and the game ended on Casey McGehee's 5-4-3 double play.

As for the Solano play, Johnson repeated: "It's the right play."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter