Villar displays fearlessness with straight steal of home

Villar displays fearlessness with straight steal of home

Villar displays fearlessness with straight steal of home

BALTIMORE -- In his short time in the Major Leagues, rookie shortstop Jonathan Villar certainly hasn't been intimidated by anything that's been thrown in his path.

Villar's fearlessness was on full display Tuesday when he pulled off a stunning and rare straight steal of home in the third inning of the Astros' 4-3 loss to the Orioles.

"I play like that because I want to help the team win every time," he said.

Villar took advantage of Orioles pitcher Wei-Yin Chen's inattentiveness and easily stole home to give the Astros a 3-0 lead. Villar crept off the base as Chen stared toward first base from the stretch position and was two-thirds of the way down the line before even attracting his attention.

"Sometimes, the pitcher, he never looks," Villar said. "He watches first base. On his first move, I did a fake and he didn't move. I said, 'OK, I'm going to steal.' I was watching the manager and checking his face. He said, 'You got it.'"

Villar said he stole home plate eight times while playing in the Phillies system in 2010.

"He's a baseball player," manager Bo Porter said. "He's very intuitive to what's going on, he pays attention to detail and he's not afraid. He's not afraid to make a mistake, which also allows him to play the game at a really high speed."

"That was embarrassing and that's a lesson I need to learn," Chen said. "I looked down and I had no clue he was going to home. The only thing I was really concentrated on was home plate. So, that's why."

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.