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'Little guy' Calhoun leaps high to rob home run

Angels teammates, bullpen coach marvel at 5-foot-10 right fielder's grab

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'Little guy' Calhoun leaps high to rob home run play video for 'Little guy' Calhoun leaps high to rob home run

BOSTON -- Jered Weaver has been on the mound for at least two of the Angels' best home run robberies.

On June 27, 2012, he watched Mike Trout catapult off the rubberized track in Baltimore and extend his left elbow over the fence in right-center field to take one away from Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy.

On Tuesday night at Fenway Park, he watched glowingly as right fielder Kole Calhoun saved three runs by taking one away from Brock Holt.

So, which one was better?

"I don't know, that's a tough one," Weaver said after the Angels' 4-3 win. "Kole's saved more runs, so I'm going to go with Kole, I guess. Obviously that was a difference-maker in the game. Great play by him to stay with that. The little guy got over that little wall."

With runners on first and second and two outs in the bottom of the second, and the Red Sox ahead, 1-0, Holt skied what looked like a sure three-run homer. But Calhoun ranged back, extended roughly four feet above the short fence in right field and made the improbable catch, drawing a collective moan from the Boston faithful.

Calhoun is listed at 5-foot-10 with spikes and is no bigger than 5-foot-9 without them.

Don't discount him, though.

"I got hops, dude!" Calhoun said after his first home run robbery in the Majors.

"I just kind of took a peek [at the wall]," he said. "The ball was up there for a while, so I had time to get back. I knew I was close. I actually didn't think I was going to hit the wall. I thought I was going to come in kind of short, but I came down right on it and made the catch."

Calhoun has been scorching hot, with seven multihit efforts in his last 10 games and an RBI single in Tuesday's win. Since May 29, he ranks second in the Majors with 51 runs scored. And his .522 slugging percentage as a leadoff hitter is the highest in the game.

But it was his glove that made the difference Tuesday.

"Game-changer," said Chris Iannetta, who wound up with the game-winning double in the ninth.

"A great play like that gets the guys energetic, gets their momentum going," Weaver said. "Obviously that showed for us. That play ended up making the difference for me."

Angels bullpen coach Steve Soliz had the best view in the house, close to where the now-iconic bullpen cop was stationed when former Angels outfielder and current Tigers outfielder Torii Hunter flipped over the fence on David Ortiz's grand slam in Game 2 of the 2013 American League Championship Series.

"It was hit so high that it was hard to judge whether he was going to have room," Soliz said, "but once I saw that he had a beat on where the ball was, I knew he might have a chance."

Was it the best catch he's ever seen?

"I still like the Trout one in Baltimore," Soliz said. "But as far as being close to it, [Calhoun's is] probably the best I've ever seen."

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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