Not one, not two ... Votto turns TRIPLE play

April 18th, 2021

CINCINNATI -- You don't see that every day.

In the eighth inning of Saturday's 3-2 Reds win against Cleveland, first baseman saved his team by turning the 31st triple play in team history.

“That’s the first time I’ve seen that. That was pretty cool,” said rookie catcher Tyler Stephenson, who delivered the walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the 10th as a pinch-hitter.

As the Reds trailed, 2-1, the inning opened with reliever Amir Garrett giving up back-to-back singles that put runners on the corners with no outs. Josh Naylor followed by lining a ball to first base. Playing just off the bag, Votto snared the ball in his glove on the fly and quickly dove back to tag out Franmil Reyes before the runner touched first base.

Thinking the ball hit the ground first, Eddie Rosario went home as Votto held the ball and waited.

Once Rosario crossed the plate and walked back to the Cleveland dugout, Votto checked with the umpire that he indeed had two outs and lightly tossed the ball to third baseman Max Schrock. Once Schrock touched third base, Rosario was called out, and Cincinnati had its triple play.

“I wasn’t sure if Joey caught the ball in the air. I was screaming, ‘Four!’ I was screaming, ‘Throw home,’” Schrock said. “I’m glad he didn’t do that, because it was a lot easier for him to flip it over to me at third. It’s cool to be a part of that.”

Votto turned to his dugout and pumped his fist in triumph as the crowd at Great American Ball Park went wild.

“That was dope,” left fielder Jesse Winker said. “It came at a huge moment. It was really cool. That was a hell of a play. That ball was crushed right at him, he dove and tagged the guy and then just threw the ball over to third, and I don't know how. ... The momentum shifted right back. It was an amazing play.”

It was the 31st triple play in Reds history and Cincinnati's first since July 25, 2017 against the Yankees. In that game, New York third baseman and former Red Todd Frazier hit into the triple play.

The Reds battled back to win the game in 10 innings on a walk-off single by Stephenson.

“Of course, a huge swing in that game,” manager David Bell said. “First and third, nobody out. We have Amir on the mound and maybe we get out of it another way, but that would have been a tougher task for him. Hard-hit play by Joey. We got a break there -- we got the break, and we made the most of it and then came back and won. But it could have definitely been a different game if they scored a run or two there.”