SAN DIEGO – Back in the ballpark where he started his big league career, Manuel Margot of the Tampa Bay Rays had a breakout game in the AL Championship Series with a three-run home run and a spectacular catch while tumbling over a wall in right field.
Asked which was bigger in the 4-2 victory against the Houston Astros, Margot said through a translator: “Definitely the home run. The home run didn't hurt.”
The home run was huge, for sure, because it helped the Rays get halfway to the World Series with a 2-0 lead in the best-of-7 series.
But they'll be talking about the catch for a long time.
With two outs in the second and runners on second and third, Margot tracked George Springer’s long foul ball to right field while shielding his face from the sun. He caught it as he tumbled over a padded railing atop a wall and landed on a walkway near the seats down the line at Petco Park.
Margot popped up, smiled and held up his glove with the ball in it after a 102-foot sprint.
Margot was shaken up a little but stayed in the game.
“Approaching it you don’t really realize how high it is but it gets a little lower once you go over the wall, so once I actually started to flip and realized it was a little bit further of a drop, that’s when I got a little scared," Margot said.