MINNEAPOLIS -- Two Blue Jays teamed up on Saturday to make a defensive play that will be part of highlight films for years to come, as Eric Thames caught a foul fly ball that deflected off the glove of Brett Lawrie in a play reminiscent of Pete Rose and Bob Boone in the 1980 World Series.
With the Jays clinging to a 2-1 lead, Francisco Cordero relieved Drew Hutchison and the first batter he faced, Twins first baseman Chris Parmalee, lofted a high pop fly down the third-base line. Lawrie raced into foul territory to track the ball, then ended up backpedaling a good 50 feet before lunging to his left to make the catch.
The ball popped out of his glove, but Thames also had given pursuit from left field and showed his quick reflexes, plucking the ball out of midair before it could hit the ground.
"I thought he had it and I saw the ball bounce out of the glove and just reacted," Thames said. "It happened so fast -- it's crazy trying to describe it because it was just pure adrenaline."
Thames screamed and pumped his fist after relaying the ball to the infield, while the normally exuberant Lawrie merely shook his head in amazement before embracing his teammate for covering his back.
"I took off and I had to go a lot farther than I had anticipated," Lawrie said in describing the play. "I kept going and going and the ball seemed to keep going and going. I got so far out that I was at a point where I thought I was going to be underneath it and it still took off and I had to backpedal again.
"Sure enough, I got my glove on it and had my teammate there to pick me up. It was good positioning, I guess you could say. ... He was in the right place at the right time."
After the game, Lawrie said he was looking forward to watching a replay of the catch, while Thames said he was excited to see himself in highlight reels the rest of his life.
"I'll take it," Thames said, laughing. "Brett and I as a tag-team, I'll take it."