TORONTO -- On a day the Royals' bats went missing, their defense still showed up, albeit under the radar in a 7-1 Game 5 loss to the Blue Jays on Wednesday in the American League Championship Series.
First baseman Eric Hosmer took top honors with an incredible grab for the first out of the second inning, encroaching on Alex Rios' territory in right field for a highlight-reel play that's surely one of the finest this postseason.
Toronto designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion couldn't quite catch up with a 1-2 fastball offering -- clocked at 97 mph -- from Kansas City right-hander Edinson Volquez, connecting for a popup at the last moment that Hosmer managed to catch on an incredible over-the-shoulder grab.
According to Statcast™, Hosmer took his first step just 0.35 seconds after the ball left Encarnacion's bat, reaching a max speed of 18.1 mph while racing down the line, all while clocking a route efficiency of 95.3 percent as he tracked the ball over his shoulder. In all, Hosmer covered a distance of 100 feet, marking the longest distance traveled on a catch by a first baseman that Statcast™ has tracked this year.
Such plays are not lost on Royals manager Ned Yost, even after a loss.
"To have the good bullpen and the great defense plays is a big part in us being very, very successful, not only last year, but this year, too," Yost said. "We can stop rallies with defense, and our pitchers have confidence knowing that they can pitch to contact because we can make plays defensively."
Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.