1. Let’s set the scene: the Orioles and the Rays are tied 2-2 in the top of the 9th. There are two outs, and the Rays’ Rich Thompson is on second.
2. At the plate, Evan Longoria hits a dribbling groundball to the left side of the infield.
3. Orioles third-baseman Manny Machado fields the ball and, instead of attempting the difficult throw to first — which, if he screwed up, could lead to a Rays score — pump-fakes, then tosses it to the shortstop.
4. Watch it again. The play is equal parts savvy thinking and tremendous athleticism.
5. The fake gets Rich Thompson off the bag, and he’s eventually chased down by Matt Wieters. Then the O’s win the game. BOOM: tied again with the Yanks for first place.
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