Rajai makes leaping catch to rob homer

Rajai makes leaping catch to rob homer

DETROIT -- A week after welcoming his second child, a boy he and his wife named Jordan Michael, Tigers outfielder Rajai Davis pulled off a leaping catch that included Michael Jordan-like hang time to rob the visiting Cubs of a game-tying homer in Tuesday's 6-0 win at Comerica Park.

"I felt like I had some springs in my legs on that one, some extra springs," Davis said. "I don't know where they came from, but they were there."

He did not time those springs right last Friday night in Chicago, on Adam LaRoche's game-tying home run. He wasn't expecting David Ross' drive on Tuesday night to carry that far, but the trajectory lined up just right for him.

Ross drove an Anibal Sanchez pitch toward the bullpen in left-center in the second inning of a 1-0 game. It had the distance to become Sanchez's American League-leading 14th home run allowed and put the Cubs ahead, but Davis had a read on it.

"I'm not knocking David Ross, he's got power. But I didn't think that ball had a chance of going out when he hit it," manager Brad Ausmus said. "I think it got caught up in the wind stream. Now, I could be wrong. Maybe he hit it better than I thought. I was a little surprised."

So was Davis, but he wasn't caught out of position. In fact, he was timing it as it carried.

"I think the closer I got to the warning track, and I'd seen how high it was, I started measuring my steps then and looking back and trying to make sure I know where the wall is," Davis said. "I think that was key, just knowing where the wall is and knowing where the ball's coming down."

As Davis hit the warning track, he leaped, extending his glove well over the top of the fence, and came down with the ball. Sanchez raised his arms in relief.

"He saved the game," said Sanchez, who went on to pitch 7 2/3 innings of scoreless ball. "I think the game is [won] right there. Everybody played really good, but Rajai, he made the game with that play."

Sanchez gave his regards to Davis after the play. So did Ross.

"I was like, 'C'mon, man, the backup catcher?' He's like, 'My bad,'" Ross said. "It's baseball. It's all fun."

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.