Minnesota Twins left fielder Darin Mastroianni helped out his starting pitcher Tuesday by making a diving catch against Houston. Then a Twins reliever had to return the favor by giving Mastroianni a helping hand — and a belt.
Mastroianni dove to make a catch on a Jose Altuve fly ball to left field for the first out of the fourth inning. There was a problem, though: as Mastroianni dove and hit the ground, he broke his belt in the process.
Instead of stopping the game to head to the dugout to grab another belt, Mastroianni improvised. He turned to the Twins’ bullpen in the outfield and got an assist from relief pitcher Josh Roenicke. Minnesota’s right-hander took off his belt and passed it through the chain link fence in the bullpen as Mastroianni passed his broken one to Roenicke. He then put on Roenicke’s belt and returned to action.
“I dove for the ball, and I’ve kind of got a used belt since I left mine in Minnesota,” said Mastroianni, who had three hits and three RBI in Tuesday’s 9-6 win. “It just snapped on me. I was right next to the bullpen, so I could just hand Roenicke my belt that was already snapped in half. He gave me his.”
Mastroianni missed most of the season with a stress reaction in his left ankle, which required surgery. Tuesday marked just his 13th game with the Twins this season after playing in 77 a year ago.
For better or worse, his broken belt Tuesday was among the more memorable plays of his season — and it happened to be captured for all to see at Minute Maid Park in Houston.
“As I was doing it, I was like, ‘I hope they don’t put this on the jumbotron,'” Mastroianni said. “I peeked up and there it was.”
Chalk up the belt exchange as Roenicke’s first save of the game. He later pitched a scoreless 12th inning to earn yet another save as he preserved Minnesota’s victory over the Astros.
While Roenicke saved Tuesday’s game, his belt swap with Mastroianni may have been the more impressive save of the night.
FOX Sports North’s Jamie Hersch contributed to this report.