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Kiermaier's catch immortalized in painting

Archer commissions art work of outfielder's leaping grab
MLB.com @wwchastain

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Manny Machado led off the Aug. 31 Rays-Orioles contest at Camden Yards and what happened next is burned into the minds of Rays fans: Machado hit a laser to center field that appeared headed for the other side of the fence.

From out of nowhere, Kevin Kiermaier leaped into the picture, thrusting himself high above the wall to steal the would-be homer away from Machado.

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Manny Machado led off the Aug. 31 Rays-Orioles contest at Camden Yards and what happened next is burned into the minds of Rays fans: Machado hit a laser to center field that appeared headed for the other side of the fence.

From out of nowhere, Kevin Kiermaier leaped into the picture, thrusting himself high above the wall to steal the would-be homer away from Machado.

Chris Archer was on the mound that night, and he was more than impressed.

"What K.K. does in the outfield changes the entire complexion of the game," Archer said after the game. "That's why he has the respect that he does around the league. I was very, very happy that he made the play, because you don't know what's going to happen. You don't know how the game is going to play out with a one-run lead with no outs in the first inning."

Archer went on to pitch six scoreless innings to pick up his 12th win of 2015. Like Rays fans, the right-hander has not forgotten Kiermaier's grab.

During Friday's pre-workout meeting at the Charlotte Sports Complex, Archer presented Kiermaier with a painting that he had commissioned of the center fielder's catch.

Video: TB@BAL: Kiermaier covers 63 feet to rob home run

"He was pretty surprised," Archer said, "because he probably forgot that he even won the Gold Glove. But it's important that we recognize his hard work and his achievement. ... As a group, we thought that it would be important to congratulate him and present him with something that he'll always remember that season with."

Kiermaier said he was caught off guard, even after Archer began to speak during the meeting.

"I saw him starting to look over at me a little bit more and he turned the picture around," Kiermaier said. "Just really cool to see. ... It's just Archer, he's the same person behind closed doors. Just a great guy all-around. He didn't have to do that at all. Caught me by total surprise and just speaks volumes to his character and what he does. I know he appreciates me and what I do out there. This is just another thing that he's done for me along the way, and I can't appreciate him enough."

And for the painting itself?

"It looks phenomenal," Kiermaier said.

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com.

Tampa Bay Rays, Chris Archer, Kevin Kiermaier