Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton smacked the ball to right center field on the ninth-inning play in the Mariners' victory on Sunday at Safeco Field in Seattle. Haniger came sprinting in and took flight on the fly ball, sending his body parallel to the outfield grass before snagging the baseball with his gloved left hand and crashing to the ground. The Yankees challenged the call, but the catch was upheld.
"I take pride in every facet of the game," Haniger told reporters. "Defense, offense, base running, everything. It's something that -- I was lucky enough to play for some really good coaches coming up in high school and college and they taught the game the right way."
New York took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on an RBI double from Miguel Andujar. The Mariners snatched back momentum with an RBI single from Ryon Healy in the bottom of the first frame. Cameron Maybin plated Nelson Cruz on another RBI single in the same frame to give the Mariners a 2-1 edge.
Andrew McCutchen walked with the bases loaded in the fourth inning to tie the game. Mariners slugger Robinson Cano reached base on a fielder's choice in the bottom of the eighth inning, scoring Haniger for the game-winning run.
Stanton walked up to the plate to face Mariners reliever Edwin Diaz with two outs and a chance to put the Yankees ahead, but smacked the first pitch he saw to right field, prompting Haniger's heroic snag.
Haniger has "shown he's a good all-around player," Servais said. "We get all excited about his bat and the power and the quality at-bats, but he can defend, he can throw, he runs the bases well. He's a heck of a player."
Haniger was 0-for-3 with a run scored, a walk and two strikeouts out of the leadoff spot for the Mariners. Stanton went 1-for-5 with a run scored and a strikeout in the loss.
The Yankees won the three-game series 2-1 and battle the Minnesota Twins in a three-game series starting at 8:10 p.m. on Monday at Target Field in Minneapolis. Seattle hosts the San Diego Padres in a two-game series starting at 10:10 p.m. on Tuesday at Safeco Field.