Arizona Diamondbacks right fielder Jake McCarthy helped shift the momentum to his team in a big way on Tuesday.
In the eighth inning, the San Diego Padres were mounting a comeback, just one day after they managed to deliver a pair of home runs in the ninth inning against the D-backs.
But McCarthy took things into his own hands on Tuesday by making the most impressive catch of his career, helping lift Arizona to an 8-6 win.
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Padres catcher Austin Nola represented a tying run when he stepped to the plate. He hit a fly ball into foul territory, which prompted McCarthy to cover 95 feet of ground in just over five seconds.
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But after making the impressive grab, McCarthy's momentum carried him over the low wall and caused him to somersault on the pavement.
Despite the fall, the 25-year-old not somehow managed to hold onto the baseball. After a fan helped him up, he rose off the ground with his cap on and his shades in his hands.
“I had a pretty good read on it. The wall came up pretty quick,” McCarthy said. “The catch itself I don’t think was super difficult. But I didn’t realize how close I was to the wall.
“Obviously, I flipped over. Luckily, I didn’t get hurt or anything. The concrete didn’t feel great, but I feel fine.”
McCarthy earned all-state honors during in his time as a running back at Scranton High School in Pennsylvania.
“Jake is extremely athletic,” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. “He’s fearless. He brings a football mentality.”
Xander Bogaerts, who signed a $280 million, 11-year deal as a free agent in December, hit a two-run homer to left-center with two outs in the fifth, his third, for a 5-1 lead. Juan Soto was aboard on a one-out double.
The Diamondbacks began their comeback by scoring three runs with two outs in the sixth to pull to 5-4. Geraldo Perdomo hit a two-run double and Rojas an RBI single. Rojas' at-bat followed a walk by Jose Herrera, who was awarded an automatic ball on a pitch clock violation by Nabil Crismatt. Herrera ended up walking.
They took the lead in the eighth on three singles, a walk, four stolen bases and two errors.
“We're a good team, we're athletic, and we're going to exploit things that we're supposed to,” manager Torey Lovullo said.
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Diamondbacks right-hander Merrill Kelly is scheduled to start Arizona's home opener against the Dodgers on Thursday night. Blake Snell is set to take the mound on Thursday for the opener of a four-game series at Atlanta.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.