Manny Machado Throws Missile to First, Foils Albert Pujols Again

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Once again, it's Manny Machado’s arm strength stopping the presses and beating Albert Pujols to the bag.

For the second game in a row, the Baltimore Orioles third baseman torched the ozone between third and first after snagging a Pujols bouncer.

Machado had enough time to catch the ball, admire its cool, creamy curvature and then unchain the hounds on the Angels first baseman.

How does this keep happening?

Pujols isn’t the quickest colt in the stable, but something about the Angels first baseman’s very presence seems to offend Machado.

This very same play occurred Wednesday, with Pujols whacking another bouncer down the left field line and suffering a similar fate.

In this instance, Machado caught the ball and—in his patented, Kobe Bryant-fadeaway style—launched a Scud missile to Steve Pearce at first. Roughly four minutes later, Pujols slid for the bag and was called out.

Pujols would have his revenge, however.

The Angels first baseman wrapped up Thursday night’s game with an RBI single to center field in the 13th inning. The hit gave the Angels a 1-0 win over Baltimore and helped the team avoid a three-game sweep.

Angels manager Mike Scioscia complimented both players after the game, per David Ginsburg of The Associated Press (h/t ABC News).

"[Pujols] hit the ball hard every time except one popup but had nothing really to show for it until he lined that single to center," Scioscia told the media. "That’s what Albert is about. He keeps playing. Machado is a magician out there, took a couple of hits away from [Pujols]."

Machado is a magician—the kind who spends his entire show making one unlucky guy in the front row disappear.

 

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