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05/18/10 12:19 AM ET

Andrus' outstanding dive is 'game saver'

Rangers shortstop robs Angels' Hunter in eighth inning

ARLINGTON -- Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus' diving play to rob Torii Hunter of a hit to lead off the eighth inning may have been the game saver in Texas' 4-3 win over the Angels on Monday.

"That's the best play that's been made on me. Ever," Hunter said. "That guy can really play. He was in left field and made a heck of a throw. That was a sweet play the more I think about it."

Andrus dived to his right side with his glove outstretched. After making the grab, he got up and fired to first from the edge of the outfield grass with Justin Smoak digging it out for the putout.

"You won't see a shortstop make a better play than that," Rangers third baseman Michael Young said. "To get an out like that, that was just a sick play."

"That's an incredible play by the shortstop, that was bang-bang," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "We saw him last year, that guy is extremely talented. Once he gets into the game, he's going to be a force at shortstop."

Rangers manager Ron Washington called it the "game saver" of the one-run win.

"You never know what might happen in that inning if he doesn't come up with that," Washington said. "Went deep in the hole, got it, didn't try to put all the weight on the ground; Smoak picked it up."

Hunter gave Andrus plenty of credit for the play, but had a different opinion on the outcome of it.

"I was safe," Hunter said. "I looked at it on replay and I was safe. The first baseman pulled his glove back to catch the ball and that's what I saw in my peripheral vision. But I know the game and that's a [heck] of a play.

Andrus atoned for a play earlier in the game, when his fourth-inning throwing error allowed Hunter to reach base.

"I knew [Derek] Holland was throwing a [no-hitter]," Andrus said. "I felt a little bit bad about it. After that play, I tried to simply be myself and concentrate on my defense."

His error may have let Holland down, but his play in the eighth thrilled reliever Darren Oliver.

Oliver, who pitched two scoreless innings, gave Andrus a big hug in the dugout after the inning.

"When you have guys like Oliver, they're going to go out there and give their 100 percent," Andrus said. "That's a difference guy. That's the same thing you've got to do. Go out there and give your best effort all the time. When I'm up there, I'm just trying to help the team the best I can. Plays like that are going to happen."

Chris Cox is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.