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#pounditWednesday, June 29, 2022

Video: Javier Baez makes a sparkling defensive play

Javier Baez dives for the ball

Detroit Tigers shortstop Javier Baez made one of the more acrobatic defensive plays you will ever see during Wednesday’s 3-2 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates in Game 1 of a doubleheader in Detroit.

With one runner on and one out in the top of the third inning, Pittsburgh’s Bryan Reynolds hit a ground ball up the middle. Baez, who was positioned to the right of second base, dove to his right to stop Reynolds’ grounder. Using his glove, he then flipped the ball between his legs to Tigers third baseman Jeimer Candelario, who was covering the second base bag, to get the force out on the runner.

Baez made another head-turning play the following inning, also with one out.

The 29-year-old again ranged to his right, this time snagging a hard-hit ground ball off the bat of Pirates DH Daniel Vogelbach. Baez, who ended up in shallow center field, then made a strong throw to first baseman Spencer Torkelson for the out.

Baez finished the game with one walk in three at-bats, but certainly made up for his lack of offensive production with both plays in the field.

It’s been a decent first month in Detroit for Baez, who injured his thumb on Opening Day. In 14 games, he is batting .250 with 14 hits, including two home runs and 11 RBI.

The Pirates won the second game by a score of 7-2.

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