Buxton legs out 3B for first Major League hit
ST. LOUIS -- Byron Buxton's first Major League hit came in fitting form at Busch Stadium on Monday night in his second big league game, a 3-2 Twins loss to the Cardinals.
It was a triple.
Buxton, the Southern League's leader in triples and MLB.com's top-rated prospect, drove a 1-2 fastball from Cardinals starter John Lackey into the gap in left-center in the eighth inning and arrived at third base standing after a near slip rounding second.
Buxton topped out at 21.39 mph on his triple, per Statcast™.
For context, Jarrod Dyson topped out at 21.03 on a triple on May 10, and Billy Hamilton topped out at 20.98 on a triple on May 13.
"I tried to speed up as much as I could and probably almost got sniped coming around second, so I'm just glad I made it there," said Buxton, who plans to give the ball from his first hit to his son, Britton.
Buxton scored the second run of his career moments later on a sacrifice fly by Brian Dozier.
Buxton scored the game-winning run in his Major League debut on Sunday after reaching base on a fielder's choice in Texas, but he was 0-for-6 at the plate before the triple.
Buxton gave the Twins reason to worry in the third inning, when he collided with the wall in left-center field while pursuing a Randal Grichuk fly ball. He got a glove on the ball but couldn't hang on to it and stayed on the ground for a moment before returning to his feet.
"You're hoping he didn't dislocate his shoulder or bang a knee or something," manager Paul Molitor said. "His body, he abuses it when he plays this game. It's not a physical sport like football or anything like that, but when you watch him play, his body takes a punishment from the way he plays the game offensively and defensively."
Buxton said the play "knocked the wind out of me a little bit," but expressed that he is plenty willing to run into walls in pursuit of an out.
That mentality made an impression on Monday's starter, Trevor May.
"I told him afterward, 'Man that's all we're asking,'" May said. "It's great to see the effort and know that's the way he plays. He's a guy who is not afraid to run through a wall to get you an out."