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Rosario's laser throw has big impact for Twins

Second-hardest thrown outfield assist of season nabs Olson at home
August 23, 2018

MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins left fielder Eddie Rosario has one of the best outfield arms in baseball, and he had the chance to show it off with a strong throw home to get Oakland's Matt Olson at the plate to end the fifth inning of Thursday's 6-4 win at Target Field.With

MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins left fielder Eddie Rosario has one of the best outfield arms in baseball, and he had the chance to show it off with a strong throw home to get Oakland's Matt Olson at the plate to end the fifth inning of Thursday's 6-4 win at Target Field.
With the Twins up by two runs, the A's had two runners on and two outs when reliever Alan Busenitz surrendered a single to left to Marcus Semien. Rosario played it on a bounce and fired home, getting Olson as he tried to score from second with Mitch Garver receiving the high throw and making the tag. The throw home was clocked at 100.6 mph, per Statcast™, and was his hardest-thrown assist ever tracked by Statcast™, dating back to 2015. It was also the second hardest this year, behind Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr.'s 103.4-mph assist on June 19.
"It unfolded kind of strangely in that Semien dumped that breaking ball out there to left," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "I really didn't think we were going to have a chance with two strikes and the guy getting a good jump off second. But Mitch did his best he could to kind of decoy. I'm not sure if it affected the slide or anything. Rosie, little bit high, but at least it was on-line. That's a huge out in that situation."
The A's challenged the call, but it was quickly confirmed by replay, giving Rosario his ninth outfield assist of the season, which is one off the Major League lead. Garver said he purposefully tried to trick Olson, standing like the ball wasn't coming in, only to catch it and make the quick tag on Olson's helmet.
"That's kind of what I do," Garver said. "I like deking runners. I want to make sure that the guy who's helping the runner, he has to be sure the throw is coming in and telling him to get down. So it's just one of the things I do, and I think it gave us a chance to get that out, just because if he would've slid earlier, he would've stayed below the tag. So he slid a little late, and I was able to get the ball down enough to get him in the helmet."

Rosario also went 1-for-4 with an RBI single, a stolen base and a run scored.

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.