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Liner off Koehler's back bounces Marlins' way

Hot smash ricochets into shortstop's glove; righty stays in, gets out of jam

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Liner off Koehler's back bounces Marlins' way play video for Liner off Koehler's back bounces Marlins' way

HOUSTON -- Marlins shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria certainly had Tom Koehler's back in a crazy third inning on Saturday night at Minute Maid Park.

The way the Marlins are looking at it, you take whatever breaks you can get. Miami clearly got a bounce go in its favor in a 7-3 win over Houston.

With runners on first and third and no outs, the Astros' Chris Carter scorched a line drive up the middle, causing Koehler to turn slightly, and the ball smashed off his upper back, on the left side near the shoulder blade. The ball deflected over second base, and Hechavarria cradled it for the out.

"You take outs any way you can get them," Koehler said. "To get an out off a back felt pretty good."

Koehler certainly escaped harm, in a couple of ways. The right-hander insisted he was fine, and the fact Hechavarria made the play saved a run.

"It was kind of weird," Koehler said. "It kind of just used my back as a ramp to get to Hech. After icing my shoulder, my shoulder was redder than my back. There wasn't even proof that I got hit, which I guess was good."

Initially, Koehler wasn't sure what happened. Then, he saw his flashy shortstop make an out.

"I didn't know where it went," the Marlins right-hander said. "Then I saw them running towards the middle. I thought they were running to just pick it up."

Hechavarria came to the rescue.

"Then I was like, 'Dude, you're always making crazy plays,'" Koehler said. "That's awesome. Get an out off the back."

From there, Koehler did the rest, striking out Jason Castro and Matt Dominguez to get out of the jam.

"I told him, 'You better keep that ball down, those guys are going to hurt you,'" Marlins manager Mike Redmond said.

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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