CHICAGO - It was Ryne Sandberg's first chance to have an umpire's call reversed, but the Phillies manager declined.
With runners at first and second and one out in the top of the fourth inning, catcher Wil Nieves hit a grounder at Mike Olt that was a tailor-made double play for the Chicago Cubs third baseman. He fielded it cleanly, moved toward the bag at third, and threw over to first for the final out of the inning.
Chicago left the field. The Phillies took the field. Cliff Lee started warming up.
And then Sandberg emerged from the visitors' dugout for a conversation with third-base umpire Hal Gibson, who assured the manager that Olt had pushed off the bag to start the double play.
Replays showed otherwise.
"Yeah, but there was some inconclusiveness on our end," Sandberg said following his team's 2-0 win at Wrigley Field. "It was a little awkward being so late and with our guys warming up there. By the time I got out there our guys are out there, and Cliff is warming up."
In this case, it wasn't a big deal because the Phillies went on to win, but those kinds of decisions in a loss will be heavily scrutinized.
"It's something we have to get ironed out a little bit," Sandberg said.
Cole Hamels, on the disabled list because of the biceps tendinitis that delayed his start to spring training, will officially begin his rehab assignment Sunday when he pitches for single-A Clearwater against Dunedin at Bright House Field. He has already appeared in two intrasquad scrimmages in Florida and will likely make four rehab starts before rejoining the Phillies rotation. Barring any setbacks, he should return by the end of April. . . . Catcher Carlos Ruiz got his first day off as Nieves made his debut for the Phillies. Nieves went 0 for 4 and was hitless in three at-bats with runners in scoring position, but Sandberg complimented the way he handled Lee behind the plate. . . . Ryan Howard walked in the first inning and singled in the fourth. He has had at least one hit in all five games to start the season. It is only the second time in his career he has started a season with a five-game hitting streak. The last time was 2010.