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Mathis nabs Punto with crafty pick-off throw

Mathis nabs Punto with crafty pick-off throw

MIAMI -- Jeff Mathis saw an opening and seized it with a crafty pick-off throw that nabbed Nick Punto at first.

In the fifth inning of the Marlins-Athletics game at Marlins Park on Sunday, Punto slapped a one-out single to center off Andrew Heaney.

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The Marlins were keeping a watchful eye on Punto at first. Heaney made a throw over with the left-handed-hitting Stephen Vogt at the plate.

Seeing Punto off the bag, Mathis countered by executing a perfect throw to Jeff Baker at first base for the out.

"It's just something I'm always looking for, an aggressive secondary [lead]," Mathis said. "I'm just glad to get an extra out."

It wasn't just any throw.

From his squatting position, Mathis used Vogt to shield Punto's view. The behind-the-batter throw was perfect, and Baker applied the tag for the undisputed out.

The next play, Vogt grounded to third, ending the inning.

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter Less