Now Commenting On:

{"content":["opening_week" ] }

Pirates' defensive gem prolongs Bourjos' slow start

Pirates' defensive gem prolongs Bourjos' slow start play video for Pirates' defensive gem prolongs Bourjos' slow start

PITTSBURGH -- It has not been the smoothest start to his Cardinals career for Peter Bourjos, who has had two defensive mishaps and entered Saturday hitless in 10 at-bats. He seemed poised to insert some crooked numbers into his batting average on Friday but was denied that first hit on a sensational defensive play by Pirates catcher Russell Martin.

Pirates manager Clint Hurdle called it "borderline Cirque de Soleil" after the game. A day later, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny described it as "one of the better bunt defensive plays I've seen."

Trying to bunt his way to first, Bourjos pushed a pitch down the third-base line as he led off the fifth inning. Martin pounced on the ball, spun while planting his feet and threw the speedy Bourjos out on a bang-bang play.

"To go down on a knee like that, to come up … a lot of times when a catcher tries to pull that off, the back foot slips a little bit," Matheny said. "I think he showed off a lot of his athleticism there. It was a very, very impressive play. There are not many catchers in the league who are going to pull that off. I think ours is one. Theirs is another. Not a whole lot of other guys will make that play."

There were no signs of a looming slow start for Bourjos, who hit .324 in 37 spring at-bats. He continues to hit eighth in the Cardinals' lineup against right-handed starters and, as was the case with Francisco Liriano on the mound Saturday, seventh against lefties.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{"content":["opening_week" ] }
{"content":["opening_week" ] }
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español