Behind-the-back snag gives Sale reason to smile

White Sox ace robs Braun on comebacker in fourth inning

Behind-the-back snag gives Sale reason to smile

MILWAUKEE -- Chris Sale might have surprised himself a little bit with a slick defensive play against Milwaukee's Ryan Braun leading off the fourth inning in a game won by the White Sox, 4-2, at Miller Park.

Braun hit a grounder back to the mound and Sale made the play, going behind his back with the glove on a no-look grab to corral it. Sale ran a few feet toward first base, then flipped to Jose Abreu for the first out.

As Sale walked back to the mound, he partially covered his face with his glove and started to laugh. He then exchanged a few pleasantries with his teammates over the exceptional glovework.

Because of an avulsion fracture in his right foot, an injury sustained in late February, Sale didn't have time for pitchers' fielding practice during Spring Training. So that defensive gem simply represented natural talent ... or pure luck.

"That ball caught me. I wish I could sit here and brag about it. I was lucky," a smiling Sale said after the game. "It's something that I was kind of flailing my arm back there, and all of a sudden, I come up with it and it's like, 'Hey, here we go.'"

"I don't think he knew what he was doing," manager Robin Ventura said. "But we'll take it."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.