Scioscia defends Hunter's dash to third base

Scioscia defends Hunter's dash to third base

Scioscia defends Hunter's dash to third base
BOSTON -- Torii Hunter plays the game the way Angels manager Mike Scioscia not only wants but demands of his athletes: all-out, taking the extra base at any and every opportunity.

Occasionally, Hunter, calling upon his football instincts, gets overly aggressive. But Monday night was not one of those occasions when, after a leadoff double in the sixth inning, he tried to advance to third base on Alberto Callaspo's grounder to first and was thrown out by the Red Sox's Adrian Gonzalez with the Angels down by a run.

"It's a great read," Scioscia said when asked if Hunter did the right thing. "We're going to go again on that. [Gonzalez] is pressing, taking a chance by playing way tight there. It's high-risk, high-reward. If it's six inches to either side, it might be by him. Down the line, it's a double."

In addition to Gonzalez's strong arm and quick delivery, there was a dig at third and tag by Kevin Youkilis to finish the play that helped create a scoreless inning.

"Youkilis made a great play on a tough short-hop," Scioscia said. "Torii's going to move over on that play. The first baseman has to make a great play there."

In this case, the third baseman also needed to make an exceptional play.

Lyle Spencer is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.