Toronto Blue Jays outfielder flashes catch of the year nominee

By Alex Butler  |  May 9, 2017 at 12:43 PM
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May 9 (UPI) -- Centerfielder Kevin Pillar sprinted toward the outfield fence and dove headfirst over the warning track for one of the best catches of the year at Toronto's Rogers Centre.

The Toronto Blue Jays outfielder risked it all to make the snare Monday.

At the time of his heroics, the Blue Jays led the Cleveland Indians 4-0 with two outs in the sixth inning. There were runners on third base and on first base, meaning that if he had missed it, the Indians would have likely sent two home to score.

He knew exactly what he had to do after watching Indians third baseman Jose Ramirez drill a liner over his head.

Pillar chased the red threads like a dog on a squirrel's scent.

And Pillar didn't even need to look in his glove after hitting the dirt, tumbling and getting back on his feet in seconds. Fans bowed his effort and the stadium erupted in cheers following the grab.

"That's one of the best you'll ever see," the color commentators said of the catch.

World Baseball Classic MVP pitcher Marcus Stroman rewarded his outfielder with a chest bump following the out. The Indians added two runs in the eighth inning and the Blue Jays didn't score again, meaning if he didn't make the catch, the game could have been tied.

Pillar went 0-for-3 with a walk and a run scored in the 4-2 victory. He is now hitting a team-leading .305 this season. Stroman (3-2) pitched six scoreless innings to earn the victory on the hill. Roberto Osuna notched the save.

The Blue Jays (12-20) have now won three of its last four games. The second game of the series is set for 7:07 p.m. Tuesday at the Rogers Centre.

While Pillar's catch might be the best defensive play for the Blue Jays this season, its most spectacular offensive play came in April when Chris Coghlan jumped over St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina to score a run.

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