ARLINGTON -- All that was missing was the cape.
Astros high-flying rookie center fielder George Springer made the kind of catch that Superman would have applauded when he crashed into the wall in the third inning of Wednesday's game at Globe Life Park to corral a fly ball off the bat of the Rangers' Alex Rios.
The catch brought oohs and aahs from the crowd and will likely go down as one of the best grabs of the season.
"It was one of those balls where it was hit and I got a good jump on it and was just able to get it," said Springer, who played the role of modest superhero.
Springer, who was in the starting lineup in center field for only the fourth start of his Major League career, was running full speed when he jumped into the wall an instant before catching Rios' hit. Springer lost his sunglasses as he fell back and rolled onto the ground, but held onto the ball for the out.
Rangers manager Ron Washington came out to talk to the umpires as if he was going to challenge the play, perhaps thinking that Springer trapped the ball against the wall, but he opted not to. The catch was as clean as could be.
"I knew I was getting close [to the wall]," Springer said. "I just didn't know how close I was, and as I jumped I could tell."
That's because his face met the padded wall as soon as he left his feet, while he reached over his head to somehow make the catch. Fortunately for the Astros, Springer wasn't injured.
"He's a tough kid, and it's padded," Astros manager Bo Porter said. "When you play the game the way he plays the game, you're going to have some crash and burn. That's what makes him special."
Rios was as shocked as everybody to see Springer hold onto the ball.
"Oh no, I wasn't expecting him to catch it," he said. "But yep. He caught it."
Springer played center field throughout his time in the Minor Leagues until this year, when he was moved to right field to accommodate Dexter Fowler, whom the Astros acquired in a trade from the Rockies. Alex Presley got the bulk of the starts in center when Fowler got hurt, but Presley was injured Monday.