Reds' Elly De La Cruz scores all the way from second when pickoff throw goes into outfield

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Elly De La Cruz scored all the way from second base on an errant pickoff attempt in the Cincinnati Reds5-4 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday.

After De La Cruz walked and stole second with two outs in the third, Milwaukee’s Colin Rea attempted to pick him off but threw the ball into shallow center field. Rea’s throw went to the right of shortstop Willy Adames, got between the legs of De La Cruz and rolled into shallow center field.

Rather than advancing just one base on the error, De La Cruz didn't hesitate as third base coach J.R. House waved him home.

“I saw the ball and I said, ‘I’ve got to go home. I’ve got to go to the plate,’” De La Cruz said.

His left hand slid across the plate safely ahead of catcher William Contreras’ tag, giving the Reds a 2-0 lead. They eventually would lead 3-0 before the Brewers rallied.

“That was just one of those plays you just never see,” Reds manager David Bell said. “A lot of it's the speed, there's no question. But also just the instincts, the desire to be able to not only get on base, but as soon as he gets on base, it's about scoring a run, and those kinds of things happen.”

Rea blamed himself afterward.

“He's a special player, obviously, very fast,” Rea said. “It was just a poor throw on my part. And it didn't go deep in the outfield, which allowed him a little more time to get home.”

The swipe of second earlier in the inning gave De La Cruz 36 steals this year, putting him on pace for a season total of 82. That would represent the highest major league total for anyone since 1988, when Rickey Henderson had 93 for the New York Yankees.

De La Cruz also tripled and scored in the first inning and homered in the eighth. The 22-year-old shortstop has now homered and tripled in the same game four times in 169 career appearances.

Although he is batting just .235, he has 12 homers to tie for the team lead with Jeimer Candelario.

De La Cruz already has delivered other memorable performances in Milwaukee during his brief MLB career. He stole second, third and home in the same inning during an 8-5 victory over the Brewers on July 8 last last year.

In that game, De La Cruz hit a two-out RBI single off Elvis Peguero, stole second on a 1-1 pitch and stole third on the next pitch without a throw. As Peguero caught the ball and walked slowly toward the rubber, De La Cruz headed down the third-base line, took off in a sprint and made it home ahead of the pitcher’s throw to the plate.



Steve Megargee, The Associated Press