BOSTON -- The drive to right by Mark Trumbo to open the top of the fifth inning on Tuesday night during the Red Sox's eventual 5-2 win over the Orioles at Fenway Park just kept slicing, but Mookie Betts kept motoring.Boston's star right fielder stretched his glove out at the
BOSTON -- The drive to right by Mark Trumbo to open the top of the fifth inning on Tuesday night during the Red Sox's eventual 5-2 win over the Orioles at Fenway Park just kept slicing, but Mookie Betts kept motoring.
Boston's star right fielder stretched his glove out at the precise right time and made a leaping grab, as his hat fell off.
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"It's just a ball hit pretty well and I've got plenty of room to run," said Betts. "Pretty much just run until I catch it. I don't have to worry about a wall or anything. I lost my hat, and it kind of scared me for a second. I don't know why my focus went to the hat instead of catching the ball, but whatever."
Fortunately for the Red Sox, Betts is a good multitasker.
It was the type of play that eight-time Gold Glove Award winner Dwight Evans made for the Red Sox in the 1970s and '80s. And fittingly, Dewey was in the Legends Suite at Fenway Park when Betts made his dazzling snag.
According to Statcast™, it was a 4-star play with a 41 percent Catch Probability. With a quartet of 4-star catches this season, Betts is tied with Byron Buxton, Jarrod Dyson, Brett Gardner and Kevin Kiermaier for most in the American League.
On this play, Betts needed to cover 83 feet and had an opportunity time of 4.6 seconds. At the time, it kept a no-hitter going for Chris Sale, but the lanky lefty lost the bid three batters later when Trey Mancini smashed an RBI double.
"That's huge," said Sale. "I made a mistake right there. That ball was crushed. To be able to have the defensive plays made behind me like that and to be able to trust in those guys and rely on them, it's huge. It does everything for not only my confidence, but the team's confidence. That's a jolt of energy for everybody in the dugout, top to bottom. There were quite a few good plays made tonight. That's nice to see."
Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.