MINNEAPOLIS -- Byron Buxton showed off his elite speed yet again in the fourth inning of the Twins' 7-4 win on Wednesday over the A's, making a diving catch in center field that was rated as a four-star catch by Statcast™, before posting the fastest time from home to third
MINNEAPOLIS -- Byron Buxton showed off his elite speed yet again in the fourth inning of the Twins' 7-4 win on Wednesday over the A's, making a diving catch in center field that was rated as a four-star catch by Statcast™, before posting the fastest time from home to third on a triple this season.
The win, the Twins' fourth straight, puts them in first place in the American League Central.
Buxton's diving grab came on a leadoff rocket hit to center by A's slugger Khris Davis. Shaded to right-center field, Buxton raced into the left-center-field gap to make a diving play. He needed 4.2 seconds to cover 67 feet, giving it a catch percentage of 49 percent, which equates to a four-star play. Catch probability is on a scale of 0 to 100 and is essentially based on how far the fielder had to go and how much time he had to get there.
"You see the ball hit and where he's at and you don't think he has much of a chance," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "But he actually got there with room to spare. He's fearless, reckless and athletic. Those are the kind of plays we're kind of getting adjusted to seeing from him. He can cover ground."
It helped the Twins save a run, as left-hander Hector Santiago gave up a two-run homer later in the inning to Yonder Alonso. Santiago was wowed by Buxton's catch, and said Buxton essentially predicted he'd make a great play before the game. It was Santiago's first start since returning from the bereavement list after attending his grandmother's funeral.
"It was unbelievable," Santiago said. "What's funny is he came up to me before the game and told me, 'I got you, don't worry about it.' So I don't know if he called that play or predicted it, but he knew he was going to do something special tonight before the game."
Buxton's impressive triple came in the bottom of the inning on a 3-2 fastball from A's starter Kendall Graveman. Buxton laced it into the left-center-field gap and reached third standing up.
The Twins' center fielder made it to third in 10.73 seconds, which is the fastest triple on record this year and the third fastest of Buxton's career. His personal best is 10.69 seconds, which came last season.
Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter **@RhettBollinger** and listen to his podcast.