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Martin's heads-up play earns praise

Martin's heads-up play earns praise

Martin's heads-up play earns praise
BALTIMORE -- It may have gotten lost in the wild finish to Game 1 of the American League Division Series, but Russell Martin and Mark Teixeira teamed on a beautiful -- and important -- play in the home half of the fifth inning.

Martin charged Lew Ford's slow roller to the right side of the infield and made a lunging toss to first base, where Teixeira scooped a short hop to save CC Sabathia an extra baserunner in his effective start.

"To me, that's what I'm most proud of," Teixeira said. "It won't be talked about much, but if that ball gets by me, it's second and third, nobody out. They might have a huge inning.

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"I got lucky, it was a really tough play, a really tough hop. I just stuck with it and it ended up sticking in my glove. But I could not let that ball get by me, because it's a big inning if I do."

Instead of having two on and none out, the Orioles advanced Chris Davis to second base with one out. Robert Andino singled to put runners at the corners, but Sabathia retired Nate McLouth and J.J. Hardy to pin them there.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi commented that Martin has proven his athleticism and said that most big league catchers wouldn't have been able to complete the first end of the play.

"Off the bat, it just kept getting away from me further and further," Martin said. "I just tried to get there in a hurry, and the ball was actually pretty wet, so I picked it up and threw it as quickly as possible.

"It was kind of in no-man's land. CC, when he throws, he kind of falls off to his right side and I knew off the bat that I was going to be the one to have to make that play. Teixeira made a sweet pick like he always does, it seems, at first base over there. It definitely was a big play. It changed that inning."

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