MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins center fielder Byron Buxton sprinted out of the batter's box, but was halted in his tracks along the first-base line when his liner was snagged by D-backs second baseman Daniel Descalso in the seventh inning.Arizona's infield shift spoiled a potential hit up the middle for Buxton, who
MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins center fielder Byron Buxton sprinted out of the batter's box, but was halted in his tracks along the first-base line when his liner was snagged by D-backs second baseman Daniel Descalso in the seventh inning.
Arizona's infield shift spoiled a potential hit up the middle for Buxton, who finished a single shy of the cycle, in Minnesota's 10-3 rout of Arizona on Friday at Target Field. He was embraced with hugs from teammates in the dugout after just missing out on becoming the 11th Twin to record a cycle.
Buxton recalls his teammates telling him they would petition to get him another at-bat, though the attempt, like the cycle, fell short.
"I saw the red jerseys standing up on the rail and everybody standing up," Buxton said on his walk to the plate in his final at-bat. "I felt like a pitcher pitching a perfect game with two outs."
But it was the facet in which Buxton came so close to cementing his name in history that was even more impressive.
It's no secret that Buxton is one of the fastest players, and he showcased just that on two occasions. To lead off the fourth, Buxton recorded his second career inside-the-park home run to even the score at 3.
According to Statcast™, Buxton went from home-to-home in 13.85 seconds, which is the fastest such time tracked by Statcast™. In fact, Buxton broke his own record of 14.05 on his previous inside-the-park homer, last Oct. 2 at the White Sox.
"My strides got messed up [rounding third]," Buxton said. "I usually try to count my strides out as I'm running. I took a wide turn at second and think it kind of pushed me out to stutter step at third."
Afterward, Buxton said that he usually takes anywhere from five to seven strides between bases.
Buxton -- who went 3-for-4 -- now owns two of the five fastest home-to-home times in Statcast™ history. Dee Gordon (14.24), Kevin Kiermaier (14.63) and Jarrod Dyson (14.72) round out the Top 5.
"I go back to my era and there are guys like Willie Wilson and Bo Jackson," Minnesota manager Paul Molitor said. "There are some people that when they get going -- it's hard to compare at that speed, but I don't know if many guys come close to that time from home-to-home."
In his first at-bat in the second, Buxton recorded his second triple of the season and scored on a Jorge Polanco double to put Minnesota on the board. Per Statcast™, Buxton's triple was accomplished in 10.56 seconds, his fastest triple of his career. It was the third-fastest triple tracked by Statcast™, trailing a pair of triples by Billy Hamilton, including a personal best of 10.45 seconds.
Buxton's sprint speed on the triple was an impressive 30.8 feet per second -- anything above 30 ft/s is considered elite. On his homer, Buxton's sprint speed was 30.9 ft/s. To put that in comparison, Buxton's average sprint speed on the season is 30 ft/s, which is the second-best mark in the Majors behind Hamilton.
Friday's efforts extended Buxton's hitting streak to eight straight, and he's hitting .464 (13-for-28) during that span, even if he did fall just shy of history. Then again, with his speed, perhaps a single may have not been feasible.
"I know he would have went to second, the guys were giving him a hard time about you have to fall down," Molitor said.
Shane Jackson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Minneapolis.