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Letting ball travel key for Lobaton throwing out runners

Letting ball travel key for Lobaton throwing out runners

Letting ball travel key for Lobaton throwing out runners

ST. PETERSBURG -- Catcher Jose Lobaton ended a personal drought in Sunday's 3-1 victory over the Orioles.

Opposing runners had stolen 22 consecutive bases off Lobaton before he threw out Adam Jones trying to steal second base in the third inning.

"I'd been frustrated about that," Lobaton said.

Lobaton worked with catching instructor Jaime Nelson and fellow backup catcher Chris Gimenez on Friday to get a better handle on his mechanics.

"I asked them what they see, and they say it's my transfer. I'm trying to reach for the ball. I'm not waiting for the ball," Lobaton said. "So I told Chris and Nellie, 'Let's work on it.' That day we worked [on it] a lot."

Gimenez said the secret is "letting the ball travel."

"It doesn't really sound like it would be true, but you're a lot faster the further you let the ball travel," said Gimenez, who demonstrated the motion. "You have to wait for the ball. The [quicker] we can get the ball in our hand to throw it, the faster our time's going to be to second base."

Lobaton had a good feeling about his chances as soon as he took the ball from his glove.

"I knew I had a chance to make a good throw," Lobaton said. "I think if you keep working on something and you repeat and you repeat, something good is going to happen. That was awesome. I was not surprised. That's what I was waiting for. That was a good step for me."

Gimenez was the first of Lobaton's teammates to congratulate him when he returned to the dugout.

"I told him, 'That was perfect,'" Gimenez said. "I was super happy for him."

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. Sam Strong is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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