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Alexi Casilla makes impact with bat and glove in Orioles' win

Alexi Casilla’s playing time has been sporadic this season, but the Orioles second baseman took advantage of just his second start in 12 days on Sunday.

Hitting from the No. 9 spot, Casilla had his most productive day as an Oriole at the plate, reaching base three times (2-for-3 with a walk) in four plate appearances and driving in two runs in the Orioles’ 10-7 win over the Rays.

With the bases loaded in the third inning and the Orioles leading 5-1, Casilla fueled a three-run inning with an RBI single to left. Another run scored on the same play when left fielder Kelly Johnson’s throw home skipped past catcher Jose Molina for an E-2.  Casilla drove in another run on a sacrifice fly in the second inning.

But Casilla’s best moment came on defense, when he made a highlight-worthy tag to nab Desmond Jennings trying to steal second in the second inning.

“What a tag he made,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “They're going to show, and rightfully, [Matt Joyce’s diving] catch on those gem things they show, but Lexi's tag at second, I know [catcher] Matt [Wieters] was a big fan of it."

Wieters’ throw to second hooked as it approached the bag. But Casilla was able to catch the ball across his body then spun around away from home plate and beat Jennings’ foot to the base.  

“That ball cut actually,” Casilla said. “It was like a slider or something like that. I just react. I knew that if I just caught it, he would be safe, so I had to spin around and try to tag him. I got lucky.”

Wieters was definitely among the impressed.

"I threw it and it cut a little bit to him,” Wieters said. “I'm like, ‘Dang it,’ and then next thing I know I get an out call. I'm like, ‘I don't know how he just did that.’ I'll take it."

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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