The Oakland Athletics' left fielder -- after chasing down a Mike Trout liner that had bounced off his glove and into foul territory -- recovered to unleash a 300-foot heave to home plate, where catcher Derek Norris applied the tag on Howie Kendrick to preserve a 1-1 game in the eighth inning.
Added Oakland manager Bob Melvin: "You don't expect something like that. There aren't that many guys able to throw it that far on the fly."
Scioscia challenged the call, asking the umpiring crew to check if Kendrick was safe. The out call, though, was upheld, and the teams went on to play well into the night.
"This one, for lack of a better word, he just winged it," Angels third-base coach Gary DiSarcina said. "And his arm strength and his accuracy made it happen. You don't see that happen often, somebody with that arm strength and that ability to be accurate from the foul pole. Tremendous throw by a great player."
Even the Angels' Twitter account showed its praise for Cespedes' cannon:
Ok Cespedes. We get it. You have an arm. #Angels- Los Angeles Angels (@Angels) June 11, 2014
It was Cespedes' eighth outfield assist of the season, which leads the majors.
All that went into it -- his retrieval of the ball in foul territory after it bounced off his glove, his ability to quickly re-establish his positioning after chasing it down and his throw to the plate to gun down a runner who never hesitated around the third-base bag -- had some thinking it ranked among the best defensive plays they've seen.
"With everything involved with it, definitely," Melvin told reporters.
Added Scioscia: "I mean that was a special play. You just tip your cap on that one."