CHICAGO -- The words "routine" and "triple play" rarely are used in the same sentence.But compared with the triple play turned by the White Sox on April 22 against Texas, Wednesday night's special moment during a 5-3 loss to the Astros stood as pretty run of the mill.The season's first
CHICAGO -- The words "routine" and "triple play" rarely are used in the same sentence.
But compared with the triple play turned by the White Sox on April 22 against Texas, Wednesday night's special moment during a 5-3 loss to the Astros stood as pretty run of the mill.
The season's first triple play for the White Sox began with a Mitch Moreland line drive to right fielder Adam Eaton with the bases loaded and nobody out. It resulted in a 9-3-2-6-2-5 on the scoresheet.
George Springer's grounder in the eighth ignited Wednesday's action with Tony Kemp on second and Jose Altuve at first. Todd Frazier started the around-the-horn triple play on a ball that took him right to third base.
"That was a conventional triple play," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "We like them all, though."
"I've never been a part of one," said reliever Dan Jennings, who induced the ground ball from Springer. "That's about as ugly of an inning as you can get for a triple play. But I'll take it."
Jennings opened the frame by walking Kemp on four pitches. He then issued a free pass to Altuve on five pitches. Yet somehow he finished the inning with 10 pitches, as Springer swung at the next offering.
According to Frazier, the ball started foul and then kicked back fair, which slowed the usually fleet-footed Springer out of the batter's box. Frazier stepped on third and fired the ball to second baseman Brett Lawrie, who completed the triple play with the throw to first baseman Jose Abreu.
"If you see on the replay, it's a pretty easy hop for me, and I'm not second-guessing," Frazier said. "Just going for two and then getting the one there."
"At that point you are just trying to limit damage," Jennings said. "And you go from that to a 10-pitch inning. That's unbelievable. Guys out there saving me pitches, saving me runs, saving me everything and keeping us in the game. Hats off to the fielders out there."
Chicago is the first team to turn two triple plays within the first two months of a season since the 1978 Astros, who had two in April of that year. It was 2006 when the White Sox last turned two triple plays in one season; the last team to do so was the 2007 Phillies.
Unlike in the April 22 game, which the White Sox won, 5-0, Wednesday's triple play couldn't stop the squad's fourth straight setback.
"Yeah, it was pretty cool," Frazier said, "but I wish we would have won."
"It [stinks] to lose, and that's the end result," Jennings said. "Something like that keeps you in check that we are playing a game and you do have a little fun, even in a loss."
Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.