Martin Prado slid into second base in the sixth inning, looking to stretch a single into a double. When he looked up, he saw the unwelcoming sign of the second-base umpire with a clenched fist: out.
But wait. Not so fast.
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After a replay review, it was determined that Prado got his hand in under the tag and was safe at second. In mere moments, Prado had gone from being overaggressive to right on the money.
But that's just how things are going lately for the utility man, who went 3-for-4 with two doubles, two RBIs and a run scored in a 5-3 win over the White Sox on Saturday at Yankee Stadium.
Prado's fourth-inning double to leftfield drove in Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran to give the Yankees a 3-1 lead.
On the current six-game home stand, which ends Sunday afternoon, Prado is 9-for-20 with four doubles, one home run, seven RBIs and four runs.
"I've seen him do it for a long time," said McCann, who played with Prado in Atlanta. "When he gets hot, he's fun to watch."
The hot streak, Prado said, is simply a product of persistence. "I'm just doing the same thing I've been doing my whole career," Prado said. "It's no different. I'm just playing hard. Sometimes the game doesn't go the way you want it. But if there's somebody who works hard before the game, that's me. I prepare myself mentally just to be ready and play hard. That's the only thing you can control."
Prado added that he doesn't put too much stock into his current statistical success at the Stadium.
"Numbers at the end of the season don't matter," he said. "If you have good numbers and your team doesn't clinch or you don't win the game, I'm not about that. I'm about 'today we won.' It was a team win, a team effort, and that's all we're looking for every day."
Prado is hitting .271 with eight home runs and 53 RBIs this season. He was acquired by the Yankees from the Diamondbacks at the trade deadline for minor-leaguer Pete O'Brien and either cash considerations or a player to be named. Since the trade, Prado is hitting .242 with three home runs and nine RBIs. He is a career .289 hitter with a .339 on-base percentage. His best season, to date, came in 2010 when he hit .307 with 15 home runs and 66 RBIs and started in the All-Star Game.
"He's a good player," manager Joe Girardi said. "That's probably the easiest thing to say. He's a guy that grinds it out every day and loves to play the game . . . We've talked about this guy for a couple years. I knew how good of a player he was. It was a good acquisition."
Beltran agreed. "He's been great. He's a very valuable player," he said. "He was in Atlanta all those years. I always loved the way he played. He's a guy that can play every position and do it well. And offensively, he's a threat."