OAKLAND -- Ramón Laureano is already putting together a season that is full of defensive gems mostly due to his arm, with a propensity to nab runners on the bases.
But the outfielder has more than just a great arm, and he proved it as he showed off his hops in the sixth inning of Tuesday’s game against the Reds when he robbed Joey Votto of a game-tying home run with a perfectly timed leap at the wall in center field to end the inning.
The catch proved to be vital in preserving a no-hitter thrown by Mike Fiers in the A's 2-0 win, but Laureano said he had no idea the historic feat was even taking place until the ninth.
"I didn’t know what was happening,” Laureano said. “I was just focused on playing my game.”
Laureano made the catch, but he said it was made possible by A’s bench coach Ryan Christenson, who signaled for him to move his positioning when Votto came up to bat.
“I don’t give a lot of credit to myself,” Laureano said. “It’s all about Fiers and [catcher Josh] Phegley, they did a tremendous job. Good for those guys.”
It always seems like every no-hitter has at least one magical play on defense that stands out. For Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart, Laureano’s catch was the play he will remember.
“It was one of those plays -- [when] you see all the highlights of guys who throw no-hitters -- the kind of play that maybe defines a game," Barnhart said. "It seemed like that was that play.”
The spectacular catch surpassed what appeared to be the play of the game just one batter before when Jurickson Profar raced over from his spot at second base into shallow right field and fully extended for a diving catch to take away a hit from Kyle Farmer.
Both plays proved paramount in Fiers completing the first no-hitter in MLB this season. After Laureano and Fiers shared a meal earlier in the day, Fiers may have to pick up the tab on the next one.
“We got breakfast this morning together, and to see everything happen was pretty cool,” Laureano said. “I was really happy for him.”