Added crew chief Tim Tschida: "When the ball cuts the pole like that, it could have glanced off it and it's hard to tell because it's already going that way. We looked at the replay and we thought it was conclusive."
The play was initially ruled a three-run homer, pulling the Rangers within three runs, but after Indians manager Manny Acta came out to argue the call it went under review.
"It could have turned ugly there," Acta said. "We just didn't want them to get any closer, because they're very good and score runs in bunches. It's not like we have the best bullpen in the league, either."
It was there where the call was overturned. Cruz struck out swinging on the very next pitch and the Rangers failed to score in the inning.
"First-base umpire [Chris Guccione] thought it went around the pole," Tschida said. "It started out so far fair that it kept coming around, and, when you're the guy on first, it flashes in front of the pole -- did it go around it or did it get it? The three of us were pretty sure that it was foul and never got it. We went and looked at the replay and made sure it didn't glance off the pole. And it didn't. I mean, it was close, it ended up being only three inches from it, or it looked like that."
It was just the fourth instance of instant replay at Rangers Ballpark, but the first this season. It was used three times in 2009, last on Sept. 12 against the Mariners when Chris Davis' homer was overturned and ruled a double.
It was the fourth time this season, with the other three coming on the road against the Blue Jays and twice against the Twins.
"The main thing is to get the call right," Acta said. "We're dealing with humans. Sometimes they're right, sometimes they're wrong."
The overturned call capped a frustrating night at the plate for the Rangers' offense. In the fifth inning with the Rangers trailing, 6-1, Josh Hamilton came to the plate with the bases loaded and only one out. But Hamilton and Cruz both struck out looking to end the inning.
An inning later, Bengie Molina and Justin Smoak led off with singles before Julio Borbon reached on a fielder's choice. But after Molina scored on a balk -- moving Borbon to second -- Elvis Andrus flew out to center and Michael Young struck out swinging to end the inning.
"We got a couple of hits but when we got into a situation to score runs we didn't get it," Cruz said. "You try to forget about it and try to make it happen tomorrow."