Astros’ Joey Loperfido stuns with incredible barehanded catch in win over Twins

Houston Astros rookie outfielder Joey Loperfido made an indisputable case for catch of the year in Friday night’s win over the Minnesota Twins. 

The Astros were holding on to a comfortable 10-5 lead in the eighth when Minnesota utility man Willi Castro hit a deep fly ball to right field on a pitch from Houston Astros reliever Luis Contreras. 

Looking like an unlikely catch, Loperfido leaped up and managed to glove the ball before it popped out. The rookie then managed to make a barehanded catch on his way down. 

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“In the moment, I grabbed it and threw it, and I saw [Christian Vázquez] running back to first,” Loperfido said, via MLB.com.

“It was kind of in slow motion, and I just sort of snagged it on my way down. But [center fielder] Jake [Meyers] and I were like, ‘Somebody has to be out.’ We didn’t know who. He had a good angle and said, ‘I really didn’t think it touched the wall.’ Funny play, cool play. I’d like to catch it the first time, but I’ll take it.”

Initially called a hit, Houston challenged the call, and it was overturned. 

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The impressive display of athleticism was too good even for the Twins to deny.  

“It’s got to be, right?” Twins shortstop Carlos Correa said of it being the catch of the year, via MLB.com 

“I mean, the way he climbed up that wall, hit the glove, stayed with it, caught it barehanded. That was very impressive. He even gave a headache to the umpires, so you know how crazy that play was.”

Houston escaped with a narrow 13-12 victory after giving up seven runs in the eighth and ninth innings. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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