The Twins mirrored the past against the Angels with their first triple play in 11 years
Fans at Angel Stadium hoped to see history on Thursday night against the Twins with Albert Pujols approaching his 600th home run. Odds are that they didn't expect to see any kind of history on defense, though.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, the Twins had a 1-0 lead, but pitcher Adalberto Mejia was in a jam. The Angels had Pujols on second and Yunel Escobar on first with no one out and Jefry Marte at the plate. He hit the ball hard, but it was right to third baseman Miguel Sano.
Improbably, Sano combined with Brian Dozier and Joe Mauer to pull off the 5-4-3 triple play, the team's first in almost exactly 11 years. The inning was over, and both Sano and Mejia were understandably pumped up.
They went on to win the game, 4-2.
The Twins had made the Angels triple play victims in the past, as well. In fact, the franchise's first triple play since its move to Minnesota came against the then-California Angels on Aug. 18, 1966:
The team's last triple play came on May 27, 2006, against the Mariners, when Kenji Johjima hit into a 4-3-5 triple killing that featured Luis Castillo, Justin Morneau, and Tony Batista, respectively.
The triple play on Thursday, however, had a closer comparison to the two most famous triple plays in Twins history. Back on July 17, 1990, at Fenway Park, the Twins got the Red Sox to hit into not one, but two triple plays of the round-the-horn variety.
They remain the only team in MLB history to record two triple plays in the same game. Just like Thursday night, it was 5-4-3, except with Gary Gaetti, Al Newman, and Kent Hrbek. The Twins had all of baseball seeing double. Or should it be seeing triple?