Gordon makes spectacular diving play on Ruiz

Gordon makes spectacular diving play on Ruiz

MIAMI -- Dee Gordon is going for more than a batting title. The Marlins' All-Star second baseman also is making a serious case for the Gold Glove.

Gordon certainly helped his chances in the seventh inning on Thursday with a full-extension diving stop to take a single away from Carlos Ruiz in Miami's 9-7 win over the Phillies at Marlins Park.

Along with being a spectacular play, it also was critical in an inning the Phillies scored three times.

"That was full extension by Dee," manager Dan Jennings said. "There's not too many second baseman in the league who have the athleticism and lateral quickness to make that play. To see him do that, full-extension, that's a hit in 14 other ballparks. He makes the play and turns it into an out."

The Phillies entered the seventh trailing 8-1, and scored three times off Scott McGough, who was making his MLB debut. With no outs, a run already in and a runner on first, Ruiz ripped a hard grounder that Gordon went airborne to stop. From his knees he threw Ruiz out.

"I'm used to it, though," Miami infield coach Perry Hill said. "Never surprises me anymore."

Gordon had two more hits on Thursday, and he leads the National League with a .336 batting average. His defense also has vastly improved.

To Hill, what separates Gordon from others is his lightning-quick first step.

"He's learned to position himself well," Hill said. "He moves with the count. That gives him an extra head start. Plus, he's just explosive. Just like stealing a base. His first step is special."

Gordon is listed at 5-11, but his athleticism enables him to cover plenty of ground.

"He plays very big," Hill said. "His first step is phenomenal."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.