The Tampa Bay Rays used the old hidden ball trick against the Los Angeles Dodgers, catching Juan Uribe in a momentary lapse at third base.
The play came in the fourth inning of Saturday’s game in Los Angeles. The Dodgers had just went up 4-0 after hitting a sacrifice fly that scored a run and advanced Uribe to third base.
But as Uribe looked away from the play, he failed to notice Rays shortstop Yunel Escobar calling for the ball. Escobar took a throw from first baseman James Loney and then flipped to third baseman Evan Longoria.
Longoria walked up behind Uribe, who was talking to the third base coach. As the runner took his foot off the base briefly Longoria applied the tag, completing the hidden ball trick and getting Uribe out.
After the game Uribe admitted that he wasn’t paying attention.
“I made a mistake,” Uribe said. “I didn’t see that the guy had the ball until it was too late. Every day, you see something different. I’ve never seen that before. Guys try. Now, I know.”
Escobar, who got the play started by calling for the ball, said he’s always keeping an eye out for situations when the hidden ball trick might work. He said he’s tried it four or five times this year unsuccessfully, though he did get four or five runners out with the trick in the minor leagues.
“It’s a play that I always have in the back of my mind through the course of a game,” Escobar said through a translator. “Guys were going everywhere, so it happened to be a good situation where I thought we might be able to tag Uribe out. The umpire was standing there and knew what was going on right away, and the only one that didn’t know what was going on was Uribe.”
The hidden ball trick ultimately did little for the Rays, who went on to lose 5-0.