ARLINGTON -- Ben Revere is known throughout baseball as an elite defender, and he put on another clinic on Wednesday night with a sensational catch to rob the Rangers' Delino DeShields of extra bases.
Revere showed off his impressive vertical by soaring into the air to make a leaping catch at the left-field wall. Toronto won the game, 12-4, but the outcome was still in doubt when the timely grab saved ace David Price from getting into a jam.
According to Statcast™, Revere played the ball almost perfectly. He took his first step 0.402 seconds after DeShields made contact, and his route efficiency was 95.508 percent. His acceleration lasted for 3.071 seconds, and the fact that he covered 75.282 feet is a testament to his impressive range.
"Reaction time was the key," said Revere, who also singled and scored a run in the victory. "Definitely get good speed, but I would say reaction time, the first two steps ... Otherwise you come up short against it. But your first reaction is quick, because when you're playing on the corners, you only have a split second to react well. It's definitely tough in left field with the ball tailing and moving."
The Blue Jays and Rangers were locked in a 2-2 tie in the third inning when DeShields led off with the deep drive to left. It appeared to be an easy double, and there was even a chance for a triple if Revere wasn't able to make a clean play.
Instead of dealing with a runner in scoring position with nobody out, Price was able to continue on with the bases empty. Shin-Soo Choo singled in the very next at-bat, but he was stranded when Price retired the next two batters. That delayed the Rangers' offense long enough for Toronto's lineup to take control of the game.
"It showed his athleticism," DeShields said. "I was trying to lead off the inning and get something going. When something like that happens, you have to tip your cap to him. It was something that gave them a little momentum."
Toronto's defense has been a major issue over the last several years, but it has since turned into a strength. Kevin Pillar seems to make a highlight-reel catch every other day, and he came through with another sliding catch in the seventh inning on Wednesday to take a hit from Hanser Alberto.
That strong work in the outfield has combined with an infield defense that is the best the Blue Jays have possessed in recent memory. Josh Donaldson, Troy Tulowitzki, Ryan Goins and Justin Smoak are about as good as it gets, and the pitching staff has been stealing outs because of it.
Price has spent a lot of time talking about the gloves behind him since he arrived last month in a trade with Detroit. He was the beneficiary again on Wednesday, and it just so happened to take place on the day he turned 30 years old.
"I hugged him after we got out of that inning and told him that was hands down one of the best birthday gifts I had ever received," said Price, who improved to 4-0 with the Blue Jays after allowing two runs over six innings.
"That was the first time I had ever pitched on my birthday, and it's a coin flip between that catch and, I guess, [us scoring] 12 runs. But that was a huge catch. There was nobody out to start that inning. It's at least a double and probably a triple the way Delino runs. That was huge."