Longoria sneaks in tag at third base after fourth-inning sacrifice fly
LOS ANGELES -- After a 5-0 win, Juan Uribe and the Dodgers could laugh about it.
Uribe had just been presented by teammates with a shoe taped to a base, clubhouse humor mocking the victim of a rarely successful hidden-ball trick in the fourth inning of Saturday's Dodgers win over Tampa Bay.
"It's something you can laugh about now," manager Don Mattingly said. "Honestly, it's really something you should learn from. It's a mistake you don't want to make in a big game or a game that it can cost you one way or another."
With the bases loaded and no outs, A.J. Ellis flied out to center field, with Andre Ethier tagging to score, Uribe tagging to third and Skip Schumaker tagging to second base.
Tampa first baseman (and former Dodger) James Loney cut off center fielder Wil Myers' throw at the mound, flipped to shortstop Yunel Escobar, who flipped to third baseman Evan Longoria, who was standing several feet behind third base, out of Uribe's line of sight.
"I was watching it, and I didn't know what to do to stop it," said pitcher Zack Greinke, who was on deck. "I didn't want to yell at Uribe, because I might get him off [the bag]. I didn't know what to do. He just lifted his foot for a tenth of a second and [Longoria] was ready for it."
As Uribe shifted his weight and took his foot off the third-base bag, Longoria snuck from behind and slapped Uribe's thigh with a tag. Longoria looked over his shoulder at umpire Angel Hernandez, who called Uribe out for an 8-3-6-5 double play.
"They hid the ball, they did a good job," said an embarrassed Uribe. "For me, I make a mistake. That's what happens in baseball. Every day, something different."
Here's Longoria's explanation: "I had just kind of walked around behind Uribe, and [pitcher Roberto] Hernandez was still kind of walking from back behind the plate to the mound, and I was just kind of waving my hand to see if Loney would see me, because I was behind [Uribe] and he really couldn't see me.
"Loney saw me, but he threw the ball to Yuni, which was the best part of the play, because it was indirect. If he would have thrown it to me, Uribe would have seen him throw the ball to me. And then Yuni flipped it to me and I just kind of waited there, and he barely took his foot off the base and I tagged him. Thankfully Angel Hernandez was right on the play as well. He kind of stuck with the ball and made the call."
When the inning ended and Uribe returned to his third-base position, he spoke with Hernandez to learn how it happened.
"It was actually a really nice play if you saw it from the Rays' standpoint," said Nick Punto. "It could have happened to anybody."
After leading off the sixth inning with a single, Uribe made his way around to third base again, planted both feet atop the bag and looked at Longoria.
"Nice play, Papi," Longoria said Uribe told him.
"I see what's going on now," Uribe said of the exchange. "One time, good, second time, be careful. Now I know."