CHICAGO — Baseball has been around for well over a century, so it's rare to see something in a game these days that's never happened before.
But the Minnesota Twins pulled it off on July 4 against the Chicago White Sox: the first-ever 8-5 triple play, according to MLB.
The historic moment happened thanks to a combination of the athleticism of Twins' center fielder Byron Buxton, the quick thinking of Twins third baseman Gio Urshela, and some sloppy baserunning by the White Sox.
The triple play occurred in the seventh inning, shortly after the White Sox tied up the score at 2-2. With pinch-runner Adam Engel on second and Yoán Moncada on first, A.J. Pollock hit a deep drive to center that Buxton tracked down with an over-the-shoulder catch.
Engel and Moncada were already running as Buxton brought in the ball. The Gold Glove-winning center fielder then threw quickly to third baseman Gio Urshela, who tagged Moncada between second and third and stepped on second to get Engel out (as he never tagged up before leaving the bag) to complete the Twins’ first triple play since June 6, 2021, at Kansas City.
“This was the weirdest one,” Urshela said.
“I had no idea what was going on,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. “I thought we got one out. And (Buxton) turned and fired it in. And as soon as he fired it in, I saw there was some commotion on the bases. I wasn’t even sure who was where and who was trying to get back and what base they started."
The play was likely the difference-maker in the game: the Twins scored four runs in the 10th inning to win the game, 6-3.
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