Anthony Santander
Getty Images

Watch: Anthony Santander robs home run, turns double play

4 Comments

We’ve seen the gamut of defensive gems over the years, from the smooth barehanded snag to the rare triple play to the incredible fence-scaling grab. On Saturday, Orioles outfielder Anthony Santander broke the mold with a sac fly double play that has to be seen to be believed:

Powered by a Renato Núñez home run in the top of the inning, the Orioles led 1-0 when the bottom of the sixth rolled around. The Astros didn’t make it easy for Andrew Cashner, who surrendered back-to-back singles to give the competition a more-than-fair shot of getting back on top. With one out and runners at the corners, Yuli Gurriel lifted an 0-1 slider out to right field, where it was caught at the wall by Santander and airmailed to first base.

Derek Fisher scored on the sac fly, but Trey Mancini‘s diving catch proved a lucky one for the Orioles, as his foot just managed to stay on the bag while Michael Brantley stepped off first. The unconventional double play brought the Astros’ rally to a swift end, allowing the Orioles to recapture the lead with a run-scoring groundout in the eighth and a two-run homer from Richie Martin in the ninth.

Thanks to Santander’s antics, the Orioles boosted their woeful record to 20-44 on the year, slowly but surely building toward fourth-place status in the AL East. They’ll attempt to take the series from the Astros on Sunday, when right-hander Dylan Bundy is scheduled to go up against lefty Wade Miley at 2:10 PM EDT.

Video: Ronald Acuña Jr. second-youngest to join 30-30 club

Ronald Acuna Jr.
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Braves 21-year-old outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. nabbed his 30th stolen base of the season on Friday, becoming the second-youngest player in Major League history to produce at least 30 home runs and 30 stolen bases in a single season. Per MLB Stats, the only other player under 22 years old to pull off the feat is Mike Trout, who did so with 30 home runs and 49 stolen bases during his age-20 season in 2012.

Acuña’s triumphant moment came in the eighth inning of Friday’s game against the Mets. He drew a six-pitch walk against righty reliever Seth Lugo, then waited for an opportune moment as Ozzie Albies stepped to the plate. Lugo fired a 93-m.p.h. fastball to Albies for ball no. 2, which was promptly returned to second base by catcher Wilson Ramos. The throw came in high, however; Amed Rosario had to jump to make the catch, allowing Acuña to slide safely into the bag and hit his career mark.

It’s been an eventful season for the All-Star outfielder, whose 36 home runs and 30 stolen bases helps pad a .294/.377/.536 batting line and 5.1 fWAR over 597 plate appearances. Through the first 11 innings of Friday’s contest, he went 0-for-3 with a pair of walks and a stolen base.