Minnesota Twins turn the first 8-5 triple play in MLB history
The Minnesota Twins make history, turning the first 8-5 triple play in MLB history during their 6-3 win over the Chicago White Sox on Monday
Triple plays are a singular breed. They generally come in a one-size-fits-all package. A sharp line drive to a base is caught, the base is stepped on, and then someone else, somewhere else, makes the kind of strange boo-boo that makes the third out possible. Maybe a tagging runner tries to take the next base and is thrown out. Maybe it was a hit and run in the first place and the guy just doesn’t have enough time to get back to first. But rarely do you see them involving the outfield.
In a tight game that saw the Twins go into the bottom of the seventh up 2-1, a new twist on the tale emerged. José Abreu led off with his third hit of the day, a double to left-center, and the Sox looked to be on the way to breaking the scoring open. Yoan Moncada singled him in to tie the game and then the weirdness happened.
With no outs and Adam Engel on second and Moncada on first, A.J. Pollock drove one to deep right-center. Initially pausing for the tag-up, the runners then misjudged the whole play, both deciding that Twins center fielder Byron Buxton had no play on the ball and running with the ball still in the air. The problem was that Buxton did indeed have a play, and he made a spectacular catch at the wall for the first out.
Turning and gunning the throw to third base, Gio Urshela caught the ball and tagged Moncada, who had rounded second already. Then stepping on the bag at second, Urshela recorded the third out as a dazed Engel looked on from third.
Already an unusual play for involving the outfield at all, it turns out that this particular triple play, the 8-5, has never happened before. The major leagues have played organized baseball since 1876 and this is the first time this play has ever come about.
This is becoming something of a habit for the Minnesota Twins, who have turned more triple plays than any other team in baseball of late. This is their fourth since 2019. For the White Sox, they do this sort of thing annually, hitting into one triple play in each of the last three seasons.
With the danger posed by the Sox deflated, the Twins had a four-run rally in the 10th to take the 6-3 win. The final out in the bottom of the tenth was a perfect statement for how the game went for Chicago. Tim Anderson gave a half-hearted check swing for strike three and when the ball got away from the catcher, decided not to even try for first base, simply abandoning the batters box and conceding the out.
With the Twins in firm control of the AL Central and the White Sox falling 5.5 games back, and the Twins, Guardians and then Twins again ahead in July, Chicago will need to pull themselves together to stay in contention.