MIAMI -- It's common to see a third baseman charge toward the plate on a sacrifice bunt attempt. It's a little more unusual to see a him go airborne to make a catch and land in foul territory past the first-base line.Martin Prado sacrificed his body in the fifth inning
MIAMI -- It's common to see a third baseman charge toward the plate on a sacrifice bunt attempt. It's a little more unusual to see a him go airborne to make a catch and land in foul territory past the first-base line.
Martin Prado sacrificed his body in the fifth inning and made one of the top defensive plays by the team this season in the Marlins' 4-2 win over the Dodgers on Tuesday night at Marlins Park.
What seemingly was a routine bunt by Alex Wood turned into a momentum-change out for the Marlins.
"That's Martin for me, that bunt play," manager Don Mattingly said. "That's just incredible effort to come from third base to make that play. That's why these guys love him. That's why we all love him, because of the way he plays, even though he's struggling with the bat at this point."
The Dodgers trailed by two runs at the time, and Yasiel Puig had just walked against Wei-Yin Chen to open the fifth inning.
Wood bunted, and lifted the ball towards the first-base line. Prado charged from third base, and managed to cover enough distance to be in position to make an improbable catch.
"You just react to plays," Prado said. "I knew he was going to bunt to first base, just the way he was attacking. The second time, it was in the air, which got me some time to get there."
Prado left his feet, going head first to make the catch. His momentum carried him into foul territory, and Wood, who was in the process of heading to first, had to leap over Prado.
"That was unbelievable," catcher J.T. Realmuto said. "I was thinking in my head, I'm going to have to catch this ball on a hop, and throw him out at first. Then, out of nowhere, he was flying in front of me. I couldn't believe it."
From the ground, Prado threw to Justin Bour at first base, attempting to double-up Puig, who returned to first safely.
"Sometimes, you've just got to show your teammates that you just come to the field to play every day," Prado said. "I know this young group of guys, they don't have much experience in baseball. It doesn't matter where you're at in the standings, just come to the field and perform. That's the only thing we can control."
The Marlins were able to escape the inning without allowing a run. The Dodgers had runners at second and third, and Justin Turner, off reliever Nick Wittgren, lined softly to third base. Prado, not having to move, made the easy catch.
Coming off losing three of four to the Braves, Prado's play was an emotional jolt for the Marlins.
"Absolutely," Realmuto said. "When you see a guy like that, one of your captains, as old as he is, coming off a leg injury, and showing effort like that, it's unbelievable. I still don't know how he got there that fast. That's huge to see out of your teammate, your leader."
Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.