DETROIT -- Usually on a home-run robbery, the outfielder sprints back at a frenetic pace to keep the ball in the park.The beauty of what Mookie Betts did during Boston's 5-0 loss to the Tigers on Saturday night at Comerica Park was in how routine he looked in sizing up
DETROIT -- Usually on a home-run robbery, the outfielder sprints back at a frenetic pace to keep the ball in the park.
The beauty of what Mookie Betts did during Boston's 5-0 loss to the Tigers on Saturday night at Comerica Park was in how routine he looked in sizing up the drive by Leonys Martin and pulling it back into play for a sensational catch.
When Martin struck one to deep right in the bottom of the third inning, he had the launch angle and the distance on the drive for a home run.
But Betts simply snuffed it out, drifting back to the wall, timing his leap perfectly and making the highlight-reel grab.
"Unreal," Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. "The way he slowed it down, he got to the spot and didn't panic. It was a great play. It was like, 'Yeah, this is what I do.' Good for him."
Betts went as high as he could go, reached his glove as far back as he could and reeled the ball in for the first out of inning.
"He hit it high, and I wasn't sure if it was going to go [out] or not. I was just able to time some steps and go up and catch it," Betts said. "I had an idea I could catch it. I just had to get a little close to the wall to make sure, and gave myself plenty of time to gather myself. That was the most important thing, being able to time it and knowing where I was."
Such highlights are nothing new from Betts, who has won the Rawlings Gold Glove Award the past two seasons and figures to capture that honor again this season. The combination of offense and defense also makes Betts a prime candidate for the American League's Most Valuable Player Award.
By taking Martin's home run away, Betts kept the deficit to the Tigers at 2-0.
Nobody was more excited at the time than Red Sox lefty starter Christopher Johnson.
"Needed that one," Johnson said. "We're so lucky as a team to have that outfield, and it's just becoming a normal thing, as scary as that sounds."
Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.