SAN DIEGO -- Sometimes a big defensive play can be just as exciting for a team as a big hit.
The Padres were the beneficiaries of three such defensive gems during Thursday's 6-3 victory over the Dodgers.
Second baseman Logan Forsythe started it off by making a twisting catch before falling to the outfield grass on a popup, then left fielder Chris Denorfia dove over the fence in foul territory to make a catch. Those catches occurred on consecutive plays in the seventh inning. Finally, center fielder Alexi Amarista ran down and needed full extension to grab a fly ball in right-center field in the eighth inning.
But which was the best?
"If I were to rank them, I don't know if I could," manager Bud Black said. "They're great plays."
"I have no idea," said reliever Nick Vincent as he shook his head.
Amarista's catch almost certainly saved a run, and Black said it's impossible to predict how things would've turned out had those balls fallen. The Padres' strong defense and knack for highlight-reel plays have been instrumental to their recent hot streak -- their 12-7 record in June is the best in the National League.
"It can really galvanize a group for that moment," Black said. "It does show that our guys come to make those type of plays."
"And they, to a man, aren't afraid to dive and lay out and do all the things you have to do to make a great play. I don't think there's not one guy this year that's not dove for a ball."
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. Jamal Collier is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.