MILWAUKEE -- Stealing ice cream one day, stealing a run the next. It is shaping into quite a homestand for Brewers shortstop Orlando Arcia.
Arcia's latest feat was scoring all the way from first base on an infield hit in Monday's 8-1 win over the Orioles. After starting the third inning with his second single in as many at-bats, Arcia went to third on Brewers pitcher Brent Suter's infield hit. Arcia slid past the bag and appeared an easy out for Orioles third baseman Manny Machado, only to pop up and head toward home.
The Orioles briefly had Arcia in a rundown but botched the play, and Arcia scored with a feet-first slide for an 8-1 lead that would stand as the final score.
"Once I over-slid, at that point there was no going back. There was just going home," Arcia said. "If they were going to tag me, it might as well be at home trying to score.
"I was already super tired, so I was about to give up. Then I turned around and saw the plate was empty, so I just went for it."
How many players would have thought to go for it?
"I would say one percent," said Brewers utility man Hernan Perez. "I think that is instinct. Most guys slide past the base, they just give up, lay there and get tagged by the defense. Most of the time I've seen that they quit. He's always attacking."
"Did they count that as an RBI?" asked Suter with a smile. "In my book it was an RBI. Arcia, that was incredible. I was telling the guys I was on second base jumping around like a little kid, just watching him do it. What a pickle. How he scored on that was incredible."
Suter has seen his share of incredible from Arcia. The two were also teammates in the Minor Leagues.
"Pretty much every day he does something where you're like, 'Oh my goodness,'" Suter said. "And he's hitting the 'schnikes' out of the ball."
With a 3-for-4 performance Monday, Arcia is hitting .367 (55-for-150) over his last 42 games, has hit safely in 16 of his last 19 games, reached safely in 10 straight and gone 9-for-13 on the homestand. He has raised his batting average from .208 to .295 since May 17.
"It's been startling. It's happened fast," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "This all started because he got really disciplined going the other way. That's where this all started."
"I'm not over-thinking. Not thinking, really," Arcia said. "Just trying to get my foot down and recognize pitches. I've been able to do that."
Arcia has found his way onto the highlight reel with regularity, especially at Miller Park. On June 21 against the Pirates, he crossed behind second base to make a spectacular play to end a 3-2 win over the Pirates. When the Brewers returned home Friday to host the Marlins, he made another critical play in the ninth inning, teaming with left fielder Perez for a relay throw to home plate, cutting down Miami's would-be tying run in another 3-2 win.
A day later, Arcia showed a different side of his personality when he swiped a scoop of ice cream from an unsuspecting fan in the front row, then hit a home run an inning later. Monday's scamper home added another entry to Arcia's reel.
"I think when you have fun," Perez said, "things go the right way."