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Back At You: Batting-Practice Ball Lands In Pitching Machine

Batting practice brought an odd moment for the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday, when outfielder Matt Joyce hit a ball that caromed off the batting cage — and right into the pitching machine. The ball was then quickly fired back at the surprised Joyce, who could only watch it sail past for a strike.

The moment was highlighted on the Fox Sports broadcast of the Rays' game, with slow-motion replays showing Joyce sending the ball into the loading slot. From there, it was on to ESPN and online highlight reels.

The sequence also inspired GIF videos that show an endless loop of the ball's unlikely travel. Here's one made by Deadspin:

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Bill Chappell is a writer and editor on the News Desk in the heart of NPR's newsroom in Washington, D.C.