Will Middlebrooks robbed John McDonald on Monday. He nearly took a hit away from Albert Pujols on Tuesday.

Pujols ripped a ball down the third base line in the third inning of the Boston Red Sox’s game against the Los Angeles Angels at Fenway Park. Middlebrooks made a sensational play on it, although the Angels successfully challenged the initial out call.

Middlebrooks showed great reaction time in diving to his right. He then delivered a strong throw from his backside. Pujols barely beat it out.

First baseman Mike Napoli also deserves a tip of the cap for his impeccable stretch.

In the end, the effort was all for naught. Middlebrooks even left the game a short time later with right hamstring tightness. But for a moment Tuesday, it looked like the Red Sox third baseman had completed one of the team’s best plays of 2014.