Big League Stew - MLB

The old hidden ball trick, eh?

The Chicago White Sox victimized third baseman Brooks Conrad(notes), pitcher Tommy Hanson(notes) and the Atlanta Braves with a twist on an old baseball standard Tuesday night.

With two outs in the bottom of the fourth inning, Alex Rios(notes) hit a sharp grounder to third. After a tough hop, the ball was sucked up by Conrad — rather, Conrad's jersey — for an infield single.

[PHOTOS: Brooks Conrad in action on the diamond]

Performing its own sleight-of-hand magic, the cowhide had rolled between two of the shirt's buttons.

For a brief moment, Conrad and Braves shortstop Yuniel Escobar can be seen frantically and comically searching for the ball in the air — or anywhere — before Conrad realized he was wearing it.

Watch the play on Yahoo! Sports Minute

"Just ridiculous," Conrad said. "It hit me in the chest and ... went in between the second and third button. Crazy."

Way to keep in front of the ball, son! The worst part for the Braves? The wackadoo play set up the White Sox for a two-out rally that put Hanson — and the game — away.

Following the Rios comedy, Hanson allowed a conventional single to Paul Konerko(notes). Still needing just one out to retire the side, Hanson surrendered a three-run home run to Carlos Quentin(notes) that extended Chicago's lead to 8-3.

The Braves would rally in the late innings before falling 9-6, breaking their five-game winning streak. The White Sox won their seventh straight.


It was not Hanson's night. Over 3 2/3 painful innings, he allowed career highs in earned runs (nine) and hits (13) — including one that disappeared.


"That's just kind of the way the day was going today," Hanson said. "When that happened, I was out there, just trying to battle and get through it. It was just one of those days and most of the time when you're having days like that, things aren't going your way. Today was just one of those days."

(Tommy's saying that it was just one of those days.)

As for Conrad, the baseball gods were just evening the score after that unlikely game-winning grand slam back in May.

That season-defining moment put the Braves over .500

This moment wasn't as fun to explain.

"I felt bad, but really just a freak play," Conrad said. "You'll probably never see that again."

* * *

Follow Dave on Twitter — @AnswerDave

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