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It took 4 1/3 innings on opening day for Chicago White Sox left-hander Mark Buehrle(notes) to make what might be the defensive play of the year in the major leagues.

Cleveland's Lou Marson(notes) hit a comebacker in the fifth that Buehrle deflected with his left shin and chased — crossing the first-base line into foul territory, just in front of the runner — before tracking the ball down and flipping it with his glove (through his own legs) to Paul Konerko(notes) at first base, who barehanded the ball for the out.

Crazy. Lucky. Great.

"It could be one of the best I've ever seen," manager Ozzie Guillen told reporters afterward. "That was pretty amazing. I know he wasn't trying to do that."

Pitcher's fielding practice in spring training really paying off, eh, Mark?

"I didn't plan on doing that," Buehrle said to reporters after the game. "I didn't even know I got it to Konerko until the crowd started going crazy."

Buehrle, a Gold Glove winner in 2009, has a habit of sticking out unprotected limbs on comebackers.

"I'm gonna hurt myself one of these years doing it," Buehrle said. "I'm gonna pay for it one of these days."

Buehrle's leg was sore and X-rayed, but he is fine. Speaking of borderline reckless, how about crossing in front of Marson? Though it wasn't interference, it could have been dangerous.

"When I was halfway over there, everything went blank," Buehrle said of his mind. "It felt like he was close to me, but I didn't know how close."

Here's a screen-shot-by-screen-shot of the play:

Round ball, round bat, yet Lou Marson hits it square — right back to Buehrle.

* * *

Stick-side save by Buehrle, but he does give up a rebound ... 

* * *

Hacky Sack that bad boy!

* * *

Somehow, Buehrle does not interfere with Marson.

* * *

Because Buehrle flipped it with his glove, Paul Konerko is obligated to catch it bare-handed. It's the rules.

* * *

Marson's like, "Did that just happen?"

* * *

Travis Hafner(notes) (left) has seen better.

* * *

Follow @bigleaguestew for more baseball fun during the 2010 season. 

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