Bourn's spectacular catch shows experience

D-backs outfielder benefits from familiarity of Minute Maid Park

Bourn's spectacular catch shows experience

HOUSTON -- Given that he's played 293 career games in the park, Arizona outfielder Michael Bourn might know the cavernous center-field regions of Minute Maid Park better than anyone.

He proved it again in Wednesday's 5-4 loss in 11 innings to the Astros, snagging Marwin Gonzalez's 411-foot shot on a leaping catch into the wall just beside Tal's Hill in the second inning.

Cast your Esurance All-Star ballot for Arizona's #ASGWorthy players

The park is certainly infamous for the sloping mass and 436-foot fence in dead center, but Bourn always deftly navigated it.

Though his catch didn't come directly on the hill, Bourn said his knowledge of the park still felt instinctual as he sprinted toward the wall.

"I got a good jump on the ball, so I took a peek back and I knew [the hill] was coming up on me," Bourn said before joking, "I'm glad the wall is padded, though."

"He made a great catch," said manager Chip Hale. "He's made two catches now this season that we haven't seen before, so it's pretty impressive. Michael knows this outfield, and I watched him navigate that hill in batting practice. He's been a really great surprise for us this year."

Bourn's catch robbed the relatively fleet-footed Gonzalez of a triple, a result Bourn was familiar with during his three-plus seasons in Houston. The outfielder posted 15 triples in the park, many of them hit to the vast gaps that result from the hill.

The Houston native nearly had a three-bagger himself in the ninth inning, as he rounded second hard on his RBI double that really kickstarted the D-backs' comeback effort.

Bourn's RBI double

"We showed some fight down three against a great closer," Bourn said of the three runs Arizona scored off Luke Gregerson. "The [day] before, remember he went 1-2-3 on us."

Bourn's night wasn't done, either.

He nearly snagged Carlos Correa's ninth-inning triple that clanged off the wall near the Astros' bullpen in right-center field. It arguably would've been an even more impressive grab than Bourn's earlier highlight, but Correa still was prevented from scoring in the inning.

"I'm trying to go catch it, there's no other thought in my head," Bourn said of his effort in the ninth. "I was just a tad bit late in getting to it. I could see it on the replay that I was high enough.

"He hit it hard, and they got some good players over there."

Good enough for a third straight Houston win over the D-backs, and Bourn wants a win in his hometown, against his former team to take with him after a hard-fought loss.

"At the end of the day, those plays are nice, but I want a W," Bourn said. "That's the main result for me, and hopefully plays like that would translate to a team win."

Chris Abshire is a contributor to based in Houston. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.