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Springer's sliding grab a Statcast star

Altuve joins defensive showcase with barehanded grab, throw
MLB.com @brianmctaggart

HOUSTON -- Any good pitcher can use some stellar defense. Just ask Astros starter Dallas Keuchel, who benefited from a couple of terrific plays made behind him in Monday's 2-1 loss to the Rangers -- one by Jose Altuve and one by George Springer.

All-Star second baseman Altuve bailed out Keuchel with the Astros leading, 1-0, in the fifth inning when he made a terrific barehanded grab and throw to retire the speedy Adam Rosales at first base for the second out of the inning.

Full Game Coverage

HOUSTON -- Any good pitcher can use some stellar defense. Just ask Astros starter Dallas Keuchel, who benefited from a couple of terrific plays made behind him in Monday's 2-1 loss to the Rangers -- one by Jose Altuve and one by George Springer.

All-Star second baseman Altuve bailed out Keuchel with the Astros leading, 1-0, in the fifth inning when he made a terrific barehanded grab and throw to retire the speedy Adam Rosales at first base for the second out of the inning.

Full Game Coverage

Video: TEX@HOU: Altuve's barehanded play confirmed in 5th

Keuchel, who won a Gold Glove Award last year, tried to reach up and field Rosales' chopper, and he got enough of his hand on it to slow it down. Altuve charged onto the infield grass and picked up the ball with his right hand and whipped it to Chris Carter at first.

Rangers manager Jeff Banister challenged the play, but replay confirmed that the ball settled into Carter's glove an instant before Rosales hit the bag.

An inning later, right fielder Springer slid on his back as he crossed the foul line to snag a ball off the bat of Jake Smolinski, catching the ball right as he collided with the wall. It was the second amazing catch Springer has made against the Rangers this year.

"I didn't see it live," said Astros manager A.J. Hinch, who was obscured by the right-field seats. "I couldn't see around the bend. I saw it on the video board. That was a terrific play. Add that to the highlight reel of outfield catches we've made this year."

Video: Must C Catch: Springer makes catch, slides into wall

Springer robbed Leonys Martin of what would have been a walk-off grand slam on April 12 in Arlington in a game also started by Keuchel, though reliever Tony Sipp was on the mound at the time.

Video: Must C Catch: Springer saves game, robs a grand slam

Statcast™ measured Springer's first step at -0.53 seconds, which means he was moving before contact. And when he hit full stride, he was clocked at 19.8 mph. For comparison, when he robbed Martin's grand slam, his top speed was measured at 17.7 mph.

Springer traveled 98.8 feet to nab Smolinski's fly ball, and his route efficiency was measured at 97.9.

Watch Statcast video

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Houston Astros