Hunter robs Youkilis of homer
BY DANA WAKIJI
LAKELAND, Fla. — Poor Kevin Youkilis.
The newest New York Yankee probably thought he had a home run to right field but the newest Tiger thought otherwise.
Torii Hunter displayed his nine-time Gold Glove skills in the third inning of Saturday’s game, timing his leap just right and snagging the ball over the fence and bringing it back.
“Best feeling in the world, period,” Hunter said.
Hunter said the feeling of taking away a home run is much better than hitting one.
“I’ve hit homers,” he said. “They felt good, like wow, you’re the man for a second. But just taking a home run away from a guy, saving runs, you just put your glove (up), it’s awesome.”
Hunter said he knows what Youkilis must have felt because it’s happened to him.
“Mike Cameron got me twice, and Franklin Gutierrez.” Hunter said. “It’s not a good feeling, so that’s why I want to do it. I know this feeling. I’ve felt it.”
Manager Jim Leyland thought the ball Youkilis hit was gone.
“In normal conditions, it would not have been that close,” Leyland said. “But in (Saturday’s) conditions, the ball was flying out.
“I’ve seen that before. I saw him (Hunter) rob one of my former players of a home run, I believe in the All-Star Game. I think he took one away from (Barry) Bonds in the All-Star Game.”
Miggy hits big fly
Everyone has seen the incredible home runs that Miguel Cabrera hits to the shrubs in Comerica Park’s vast center field.
On Saturday, Cabrera hit one at Joker Marchant Stadium that had jaws dropping.
With the game tied , 4-4, in the seventh inning, Cabrera hit the first pitch reliever Cody Eppley offered over the batter’s eye at Joker Marchant Stadium.
“Nobody saw it because it was gone,” Hunter said. “It just vanished. He hit the ball so hard that it vanished. We didn’t even see it go over. We just know it went over the batter’s eye.
“That was one of the most impressive home runs. It’s 420 in center field, over the batter’s eye. Very impressive.”
Dirks still out
Left fielder Andy Dirks missed his third straight game with a bruised right knee.
“It feels better (Saturday),” Dirks said. “I just gotta get all the swelling out of it. When I hit the wall, it swelled up and all that fluid doesn’t have any place to go. Once the fluid’s gone, then it’s good.”
While his teammates were in Viera Friday to play the Washington Nationals, Dirks remained back in Lakeland to get treatment and do some work.
“Just hit and a little light stuff, light running and different things,” Dirks said. “I could feel it a little bit, but (Saturday’s) better than (Friday), that’s all that matters.”
Dirks said he planned to make the two-day trip to Port St. Lucie and Jupiter and was hopeful he could play Sunday against the Mets.