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Brewers catcher Martin Maldonado literally hit the cover off a baseball

During Friday's matchup between the Pirates and the Brewers, catcher Martin Maldonado took a page from Jose Abreu's handbook and literally hit the cover off a baseball:


And if that wasn't amazing enough, the ball's altered aerodynamics actually earned him a base hit:


Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez did his best to get it to first, but the laws of physics dictated that Maldonado would be safe by a mile:


Frankly, the fact that Alvarez even got his glove on the broken-ball single is pretty impressive -- think about how it must have looked coming at him:

BrokenBall.gif's Adam McCalvy tracked down the ball, and it's even more amazing up close:

McCalvy asked Maldonado about the unusual play after the game:

"I feel like I hit it on the barrel, not on the end of the bat," Maldonado said. "But when I looked down, I see that something was spinning. I never thought it was the ball uncovered. I thought he threw it to second base. Then I looked back and saw the ball and I was like, 'That's kind of weird.'

"That's a hit. I'll take it. I think that's the only infield hit I'll ever get, other than bunts."

And Pirates manager Clint Hurdle was just as surprised: