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.