ARLINGTON -- Rangers left fielder Will Venable made his first start in five games with a right-hander on the mound for the Blue Jays and made a terrific defensive play in the second inning of a 4-1 win on Thursday afternoon at Globe Life Park.
The Blue Jays had Ben Revere on first with two outs when Cliff Pennington sliced a drive to left field. The ball was not hit deep, but Venable was playing shallow and had to race straight back to catch up. At the last moment, he made a diving catch going away from home plate. If he doesn't catch the ball, Revere would have scored easily.
According to Statcast™, the ball came off Pennington's bat at 90 mph and was projected to travel 331.95 feet. Venable took his first step just 0.325 seconds after contact and needed only 4.496 seconds to accelerate to his top speed of 19.573 mph. Those metrics put Venable in the perfect position to make the diving grab to cap off a play on which he covered 87.452 feet.
"This is a veteran outfielder," Jeff Banister said. "He has run-down speed and reads the ball well off the bat. If he doesn't make that catch, it is a different story. I wasn't sure he would get there, but to lay out and make that catch was a game-changer. Incredible."
Venable was acquired from the Padres last Thursday and is platooning in left with Ryan Strausborger while Josh Hamilton is on the disabled list. Hamilton went on the disabled list retroactive to Aug. 16 and has yet to resume taking batting practice.