OAKLAND -- All spring, the word most often used to describe catcher Martin Maldonado's throwing arm was "cannon."
Maldonado's prodigious arm strength was on full display in the Angels' 7-6 comeback win over the A's Tuesday night at the Oakland Coliseum. In the third inning, Maldonado threw out the speedy Rajai Davis on a stolen-base attempt with a strong throw to second base.
Maldonado, 30, had a 1.88-second pop time on the play and fired an 87.5 mph throw to shortstop Andrelton Simmons to nail Davis, according to Statcast™.
"It was unbelievable," Halos starter Matthew Shoemaker said. "When he threw out Davis, I just crouched down and heard 'Whoosh!' That's nice to have."
Added manager Mike Scioscia: "That was a laser he threw Davis out on. That's what Martin can do. He's a game-changer behind the plate with his arm. There's no doubt that when he throws, that ball comes out hot."
Maldonado, who was acquired from the Brewers in an offseason trade, had the fastest average pop time (1.91 seconds) of all Major League catchers who made at least 15 throws in 2016. He threw out 40 percent of potential basestealers last season.
"That's my game," Maldonado said in Spanish. "Being aggressive throwing to the bases. It's one of the reasons why they brought me here. To be able to show that on the first guy who ran, it gives me a little more joy than usual."
Maldonado also picked off Marcus Semien at first base with an outstanding throw from his knees in the second inning. He added to his impressive night by collecting his first hit as an Angel, a bases-loaded, two-run single to put the Angels ahead, 2-1, in the second inning.