Mahtook turns high-stakes DP for Rays
Catch and throw keeps no-hitter alive in seventh; Ramirez loses no-no in eighth
ST. PETERSBURG -- Yankees catcher Brian McCann's drive to right looked as though it would not only break up Rays starter Erasmo Ramirez's no-hit bid in the seventh inning Monday night, but it also would have broken up a scoreless tie.
Athletic Rays right fielder Mikie Mahtook took off and leaped at the last moment, slamming against the wall but coming down with McCann's drive. Thinking McCann's hit would fall, Brett Gardner, who had walked and advanced to second, sprinted for home only to put on the brakes and retreat back toward the base. Mahtook rebounded off the padded wall and threw a strike to shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera covering at second to complete the inning-ending double play. Ramirez would end up losing the no-hitter when Carlos Beltran led off the eighth with a single, and the Rays lost the game, 4-1.
"I know when McCann hit the ball, I know it was good contact, and when I saw Mikie going back, the first thing I think is, 'If it's not at the wall, it's going to be gone,'" Ramirez said.
For Mahtook, it was his first career outfield assist. He had seven outfield assists this season at Triple-A Durham.
"I knew he hit it decent," Mahtook said. "We were trying to protect from the run scoring on a base hit, so I was playing a little bit in. He hit the ball over my head. I was able to get a good jump on it and find the wall and go up and catch it. I didn't think it was going to be a homer off the bat. I guess I was just able to get to the wall in time and go up and get it."