BOSTON (CBS) — Andrew Benintendi had himself a night on Tuesday in Arlington, smacking two homers with six RBIs in the Red Sox’ 11-4 win over the Rangers. But in the half-inning before he hit his first homer of the game, he made one of the most spectacular defensive plays of his young career.
You can watch Benintendi’s eye-popping catch at the left field wall in the video above. Benintendi leaped in the air to rob an incredulous Mike Napoli of extra bases. Hopefully the 22-year-old wunderkind (he turns 23 on Thursday) has hundreds more of those kinds of plays left in him.
The catch, however, was far from the only great defensive play by the Red Sox in the series. They made numerous dazzling plays, mostly off the gloves of Benintendi, Mookie Betts, and Dustin Pedroia.
Betts got it started on Tuesday night with an impressive sliding catch in foul territory in the bottom of the second inning. MLB StatCast measured that Betts had to travel 129 feet in 6.1 seconds (with a “sprinting speed” of 29.5 feet per second) in order to make the play, giving him a “catch probability” of 32 percent.
Despite the superlative efforts of both Benintendi and Betts, it was Pedroia’s legendary night on Monday that truly stole the show. In addition to going 3-for-5 with four RBIs, Pedroia made three great plays on defense in a span of two innings, all with the game tied 5-5 at the time.
First was the play that everyone’s talking about, the incredible falling throw off a fortunate bounce to catch Carlos Gomez rounding too far around first base. The play took the potential go-ahead run off the bases for the Rangers:
Pedroia was far from done demoralizing the Rangers with his leather. In the bottom of the 10th inning, he made the first out with this diving stop, which for Red Sox fans has become a routine play for Pedroia:
He was feeling it so much at this point, Pedroia was able to nonchalantly catch a pop-up over his shoulder in shallow right field for the second out:
Pedroia and Benintendi didn’t just impress with their fielding, either. The two have combined to go 10-for-17 (.588) with two homers and 13 RBIs in the past two games.
The series finale is Wednesday night in Arlington. The way it’s gone so far, you should keep your eyes peeled for more excellent defense.