Raburn stuns crowd with highlight-reel catch

Raburn stuns crowd with highlight-reel catch

CLEVELAND -- Even as Ryan Raburn sprinted hard to his left and closed in on the warning track in right field, he wasn't sure he'd make the catch. Over in center field, rookie Tyler Holt didn't think there was much of a chance, either.

"As slow as he is, no," Holt joked.

But there at Progressive Field, in the sixth inning of the Indians' 1-0 loss to the D-backs on Wednesday night -- a 12-inning defeat in the second game of a doubleheader -- Raburn stunned everyone with a diving catch ready-made for highlight shows.

The running, diving, tumbling grab robbed Arizona's David Peralta of an extra-base hit.

Manager Terry Francona was definitely impressed.

"That was an unbelievable play," Francona said. "He closed ground. That was a great play. At the time you think it's going to save the game."

With one out and a runner on second, Peralta lined a pitch from lefty Nick Hagadone deep to right field. Raburn -- not known for his speed -- broke hard and reached the track on a dead sprint. He left his feet, extended and snared the ball in flight, then crashed to the dirt.

The crowd roared as Raburn got to his feet, his jersey caked with clay.

Did he know he would make the catch?

"Oh, yeah. Back pocket," Raburn said with a smirk. "No, I didn't really know I had it until I looked in my glove. I gave it everything I had. I'm lucky I came down with it."

The 25-year-old Holt, recently called up from Triple-A Columbus, had made an impressive diving catch of his own in the fourth inning to deny Peralta a hit. Holt quipped that Raburn learned something from that defensive gem.

"He's taking a few pointers from my book," Holt said with a laugh. "No, he's a good guy, and I was really excited for him to make that play. That was a big out for us right there. Tremendous effort."

"I've got to keep up with these young bucks," said the 33-year-old Raburn.

Now that Raburn has showed off his range, he was jokingly asked if he would lobby to play some center field.

"I've been telling [Francona] that since [Michael Bourn's] been hurt," said a smiling Raburn. "For some reason he won't throw me out there. I don't know what the deal is. He says I'm too slow."

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.