A rare 8-1 putout! Laureano pulls off wild play

August 24th, 2020

OAKLAND -- Something about the Angels just seems to attract like a magnet for jaw-dropping defensive plays.

Laureano’s cannon arm was on full display again in Sunday’s 5-4, 10-inning win over the Halos at the Coliseum. Following a leadoff single by Tommy La Stella in the third inning, Laureano attempted a sliding catch on a blooper hit by Mike Trout. The ball landed in Laureano’s glove on a short hop, and the A’s center fielder quickly got to his feet and fired a laser to second base to nab La Stella for a forceout.

Everything about this throw was ridiculous. Laureano quickly transferred the ball from his glove to his right hand and was completely off-balance with zero momentum, yet still made a perfect throw. However, the more surprising development on the play was the man covering second base: A’s starting pitcher Frankie Montas, who did his best shortstop impression to help himself on a rare 8-1 putout.

“Give Frankie credit for getting over there,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “You don’t see an 8-1 very often, let alone a nice play at second base and the awareness to get over there by a pitcher. Really a heads-up play.”

The last 8-1 putout in MLB occurred on July 20, 2019, when Albert Almora Jr. and Brandon Kintzler of the Cubs combined on a play against the Padres.

“I’m the type of guy who always tries to back up the base, just in case,” Montas said. “I saw the fly ball, and my first thought was second base.”

Sunday’s throw added to the long-standing torment Laureano has brought to the Angels on defense for the past few years. In a previous series between the two clubs at Angel Stadium last month, Laureano made an unreal game-saving catch to rob Brian Goodwin of a game-tying homer.