A's Kendall Graveman turns rare unassisted double play for pitcher

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Friday, April 28, 2017

There was a 2-for-1 special for Oakland Athletics pitcher Kendall Graveman on Thursday night.

Graveman, who was activated off the disabled list earlier Thursday, turned a high-flying, unassisted double play against the Los Angeles Angels, becoming the first A's pitcher to do so since Blue Moon Odom on July 11, 1971.

"That's probably the best play I've ever seen a pitcher make, hurdling over a defender to get the second out unassisted," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "I didn't even know how to put that one down on the card. He pitched great."

In the fifth inning, with runners at first and third, Graveman snagged a sharp comebacker by the Angels' Juan Graterol and ran toward home to stop Ben Revere from scoring.

Graveman ran Revere back to third and, after faking the throw to A's third baseman Ryon Healy, tagged Revere before he got to the bag.

The A's pitcher, seeing that the Angels' Cliff Pennington was trying to advance, then dove over Revere to tag a sliding Pennington before he got to the bag.

"The thought is the first part of it," Graveman told reporters after the game. "But when you get him running back to third, that's all reaction. I went back and looked at it and I didn't even realize I'd jumped over Revere to make the tag. That's where the reaction kicks in; you're just trying to get outs."

Said first baseman Yonder Alonso:"I think of him as sort of a shortstop playing out of position out there. He plays his position pretty well. That was a pretty athletic play he made."

Graveman, who was returning from a strained shoulder, appeared a bit shaken up and was checked out by a trainer, but he continued for another inning in the 2-1 loss.

Odom, 46 years after he did it, just happened to be in the stands to see Graveman pull it off.

"He told me, 'Hey, I'll be in the front row watching you,'" Graveman told reporters after the game. "He's a great guy. He always sits in the front row."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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