Bird in the hand worth two in the box

Bird in the hand worth two in the box

ARLINGTON -- Astros catcher Humberto Quintero had seen enough fowl play.

"It was taking too long," he said.

Quintero was on deck in the ninth inning of Sunday's game against the Rangers when a curious bird landed near home plate for the second time in a matter of minutes. Astros batter Chris Johnson tried to shoo it away with his bat and plate umpire Mike Reilly couldn't get it to budge, either.

That's when Quintero took over, approaching the bird and gently picking it up with both hands. He placed it in a camera well at the end of the first-base dugout, drawing cheers from the crowd.

"We have birds in Venezuela," said Quintero, who likes to hunt and was wearing batting gloves. "Why were people scared? We have a lot of birds in Venezuela. I got it and put it away. I didn't want to wait 30 minutes for the bird to go away."

Johnson was impressed with Quintero's bird-handling ability.

"It looked like he's done that before," Johnson said. "That's not something you see every day, so I was just trying to do my best and clear it and get it away. I didn't want the bird to throw my at-bat away, but it was a little awkward."

The bird swooped over the field one last time and watched the final out of the game while perched on the railing on the center-field wall. No harm, no fowl.