Easy as 5-4-3.
The baseball world’s eyes were set on Angel Stadium Thursday night to watch Albert Pujols try to become the ninth member of the 600 home-run club. While Pujols failed to leave the yard in his first two at-bats, his fourth-inning single set the stage for fans to watch a different kind of history.
With Pujols on second base and Yunel Escobar on first to open the fourth inning, Angels first baseman Jefry Marte hit a ground ball to Miguel Sano at third base. Sano immediately touched third for the force, relayed to Brian Dozier at second for out No. 2, and Dozier fired over to first baseman Joe Mauer to get Marte and complete the silky smooth 5-4-3 triple play.
It’s the second triple play of the 2017 season; Baltimore turned one against the Red Sox last month.
For the Twins, it’s their 12th triple play since moving to Minnesota in 1961, and their first since Luis Castillo, Justin Morneau, and Tony Batista combined to turn a 4-3-5 triple play at the Metrodome on May 27, 2006, according to SABR’s triple-play database. The Angels franchise had not hit into a triple play since Bengie Molina did it on July 7, 2004 against the White Sox, also at Angel Stadium.
The triple play was important for the Twins, as it preserved their 1-0 lead over the Angels.