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Atmosph-Eric: Sogard ranges for key play

Run-saving defensive gem complements sparkplug's 3-hit game
MLB.com @AdamMcCalvy

MILWAUKEE -- "Nerd power" apparently applies to defense, too.

Eric Sogard, one of the most surprising players on one of Major League Baseball's most surprising teams, tallied three more hits and made the defensive play of the game in the Brewers' 4-2 win over the Pirates on Thursday at Miller Park. While it wasn't quite Orlando Arcia's game-ending gem of the night before, Sogard's eighth-inning effort produced an out at the plate that helped seal a winning homestand.

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MILWAUKEE -- "Nerd power" apparently applies to defense, too.

Eric Sogard, one of the most surprising players on one of Major League Baseball's most surprising teams, tallied three more hits and made the defensive play of the game in the Brewers' 4-2 win over the Pirates on Thursday at Miller Park. While it wasn't quite Orlando Arcia's game-ending gem of the night before, Sogard's eighth-inning effort produced an out at the plate that helped seal a winning homestand.

View Full Game Coverage

"The best part about the play was there was just no hesitation," said Brewers manager Craig Counsell. "Get to the ball and throw it home. Any hesitation and there's trouble."

Arcia's gem among Crew's top game-enders

The Brewers had just extended their lead to two runs when reliever Jacob Barnes took the mound for the eighth. With two outs and speedy Adam Frazier at second base -- where he started Arcia's special play a night earlier -- Gregory Polanco pulled a rocket toward Eric Thames at first base. The baseball caromed off Thames' glove and into shallow right field, where Sogard dove for it, popped up and threw to catcher Jett Bandy.

When Bandy dove to the plate to tag Frazier, Barnes and the Brewers had an inning-ending out. The call stood upon review.

"I just wanted to get a glove on it first," Sogard said. "I knew [Frazier] was a good runner and would be trying to score. Just try to get as much as I could on it, and Jett made an unbelievable play diving to get him at the plate." When the ball initially bounced into the outfield, Bandy didn't think the Brewers would have a play. "Then I saw that little Shetland pony come in there," Bandy said. "[Sogard] has been gobbling up everything lately."

Video: PIT@MIL: Sogard on run-saving play

Sogard has been producing at the plate, too. After missing all of last season with neck and knee injuries, he signed a Minor League deal with Milwaukee and began 2017 at Triple-A Colorado Springs. Since a May 12 callup, Sogard is hitting .366 with a .466 on-base percentage.

Among players with at least 100 plate appearances, the Major League leaders in on-base percentage as of Thursday's final out at Miller Park looked like this: Justin Turner (.468), Sogard, then Mike Trout and Freddie Freeman (.461), Paul Goldschmidt (.448) and Aaron Judge (.438).

"I'm having a blast," Sogard said. "It's a fun group of guys to go to battle with. We fight every day and we're having fun doing it."

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Milwaukee Brewers, Eric Sogard