The Minnesota Twins managed to wrangle something positive from an early deficit against the Atlanta Braves at Target Field on Wednesday. Down 6-0 in the top of the third inning, the Twins were in desperate need of a quick three outs to preserve any hope of a comeback, no matter how remote. They would earn the trio in the quickest of ways, the rarely-seen triple play– rare for every team except the Twins, apparently, who accomplished this same feat not two weeks ago.
With the bases loaded and the lead substantial, Atlanta catcher Tyler Flowers was ready to join the Braves’ barrage. The visitors had already earned a trio of runs in the first and third innings, and seemed to poised to add more with the bases loaded and no outs recorded. A ground ball to the third-base side ended Flowers’ dream.
The sharply-hit ball went to Miguel Sano, who was playing resident Adam Duvall close to the bag. Sano’s cleat was on the base before the ball got to his glove, forcing out the approaching Charlie Culberson. The ball then got to second base, where Jonathan Schoop’s touch ended Johan Camargo’s trip. Third out duties were bestowed to C.J. Cron, whose catch from Schoop and subsequent step on first completed the deed.
Minnesota has now earned multiple triple plays in a season for the first time since the 1990 campaign. Coincidentally, each one this year began with a pitch from Martin Perez. The left-hander becomes the first pitcher to be on the mound for multiple triple plays in the same season since Mark Buehrle commenced two with the Chicago White Sox in 2006.