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Arenado lets instincts take over on defense

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LOS ANGELES -- Third baseman Nolan Arenado's game-saving diving catch of a Tim Federowicz line drive to end a Dodgers threat in the fourth inning of the Rockies' 5-4, 11-inning victory pleased a large group of family and friends -- well, to an extent.

Arenado grew up in Lake Forest, Calif., where there are plenty of Dodgers fans, including those in his family.

"My closest cousin, he's a huge, huge Dodger fan," Arenado said. "He follows them, like, nonstop. He wants me to have success, but he wants to the Dodgers to win. So we have a little competition, and through messages, we talk a lot of trash about it. But it's been fun.

"In San Diego, there's a lot of family, too, but the Dodger atmosphere gets people going. My family has a lot of Dodger fans."

Arenado, coming off winning a Rawlings Gold Glove as a rookie last season, has kept up the highlight-reel plays that are way more fun for him to perform than to analyze. It seemed as if he knew exactly where the ball would be hit. He seemed to be moving or leaning with the pitch, and was able to take four choppy steps before making the dive.

"Sometimes you just get the feeling the ball's going to come your way," Arenado said. "I guess you just build the instincts. But I try not to overthink. When I overthink when I have the ball, that's when I make the error and get myself in trouble. I try not to analyze things too much. I just do them and hope it works out."

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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