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6/15/2014 2:45 A.M. ET

Puig's bat flip on walk buzzes catcher, umpire

LOS ANGELES -- The bat flip. Yasiel Puig's calling card. It has angered some and delighted others, but it hasn't caused any harm -- yet.

It came close Saturday night.

With two outs in the first inning against D-backs right-hander Josh Collmenter, Puig took a high pitch for a walk. He proceeded to flip his bat as he turned toward first base, but instead of falling safely behind him, the bat flew forward, spiraling over the head of Arizona catcher Miguel Montero and just past home-plate umpire Bill Welke.

"It almost slipped off me," Puig said through an interpreter.

He said he didn't think it would hit him.

"I was more afraid it would hit the umpire or catcher," he said.

An upside to the evening for Puig: With that walk and another one in the fourth, Puig took the team lead with 33 walks. He had 36 walks in 104 games last year.

"I think that patience is going to pay off for him in the long haul," manager Don Mattingly said. "I think it's an interesting phenomenon, because I've never seen anyone flip the switch that easily."

Then again, flipping things is one of Puig's strong suits.

Michael Lananna is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.