Lopez called for a pitch down and in, but Pena threw it up and in. Thome didn’t swing, and Lopez spun and whipped it to McGriff who tagged out Ramirez well before he got back to the bag.
Said Indians manager Mike Hargrove after the game, “The man just got out there too far. It’s in the scouting report that Lopez likes to throw. We’re aware of it; he’s aware of it. He just didn’t get back.’’
“It was a big play,’’ Lopez said.
Indeed, it was, as Pena walked Thome and into the game came closer Mark Wohlers, who ended the inning by getting Paul Sorrento on a flyout to center.
Wohlers would make it interesting in the ninth, as he got the final out of the game with the tying run at second, the Braves winning 4-3.
“I know a lot of people don’t look at me as a great defensive catcher,’’ said Lopez, who also hit a two-run homer in the game. “But a lot of people remember that play.’’