Marlins' Protest Becomes Moot

The fourth inning of Game 3 was highlighted by an umpire's mistake, an argument and a protest.

Trying to steal second base, Atlanta's Kenny Lofton was called out by second-base umpire Eric Gregg. But the play occurred as Tony Saunders walked Jeff Blauser, so Lofton should have been awarded second.

However, believing Gregg had called him out, Lofton wandered off the bag to speak with Gregg and he was tagged by second baseman Craig Counsell. Home plate umpire Mike Winters called time and awarded second to Lofton.

Then came the confusion. Believing Lofton had been called out, Marlin Manager Jim Leyland argued with crew chief Bruce Froemming. Froemming stood by the call, which was correct, but Leyland didn't give up.

Leyland pleaded his case to NL President Leonard Coleman, who was was seated in the first row along the first-base line near the Marlins' dugout. Coleman agreed with the call and the Marlins played the game under protest, which they withdrew after their 5-2 victory.

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