KANSAS CITY -- Tigers manager Jim Leyland, a former Minor League catcher, tried to characterize the degree of difficulty on the Alcides Escobar popup on Friday night that Alex Avila dropped in front of the Royals' dugout for an error.
"That was a tough one," Leyland said. "He had to go quite a ways for it. Normally if they go straight back, they're easier, because you can kind of wait until it gets to its peak and then kind of move in to it like an outfielder. With the angle he was on, that was a little more difficult to do."
Avila acknowledged some trickiness on it, noting the spin being the opposite of what an infielder or outfielder would see. Still, he said, that's a play he has to make.
"I had a bead on it, saw it all the way. Just in and out of my glove," Avila said. "I've caught hundreds of those."
The error kept Escobar and the sixth inning alive with the bases loaded and two outs, with Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez trying to hold a 1-0 deficit. Sanchez's strikeout a couple of pitches later ensured no damage came out of it.
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.