ARLINGTON -- It had been 106 years since a Major League team turned a triple play in which the batter was not retired before the Rangers turned the trick in Thursday's 8-6 win over the Angels at Globe Life Park.In the fourth inning, the Angels had the bases loaded when
ARLINGTON -- It had been 106 years since a Major League team turned a triple play in which the batter was not retired before the Rangers turned the trick in Thursday's 8-6 win over the Angels at Globe Life Park.
In the fourth inning, the Angels had the bases loaded when David Fletcher hit a ground ball to Rangers third baseman Jurickson Profar. Profar touched third for a forceout before tagging Taylor Ward, the runner on third, who thought Profar caught the ball and was retreating to the bag. Profar then threw to Rougned Odor, who tapped second base for a forceout and a 5-4 triple play.
According to STATS, this was the first triple play in which the batter was not retired since June 3, 1912, when the Brooklyn Dodgers did it against the Reds.
It was the Rangers' sixth triple play in franchise history, with the last occurring on May 20, 2009, against the Mariners. It was the second triple play in MLB this season.
"Every runner thought it was a line drive, that's why we got a triple play," Profar said. "I wasn't sure why the runner at first base didn't run either, so they thought it was a line drive."
It was the third 5-4 triple play in the expansion era (since 1961), according to ESPN Stats & Information research. The White Sox did it on Sept. 18, 2006, against the Tigers, and the Phillies did it Sept. 12, 2007, against the Rockies.
"I tracked the ball into his glove, and it just hit the ground as it was going into his glove, so either way, I'm pretty much a dead duck, I feel like," Ward said. "I think my best case scenario right there probably would have been to maybe stay on the bag just in case, I think that would have been my only shot."
Ward wasn't the only player confused by the unusual play. After Odor tagged second for the third out, he proceeded to attempt to tag Kole Calhoun, who had already been retired by Odor's forceout at second, in between first and second.
"[Shortstop] Elvis [Andrus] was yelling, 'Tag, tag, tag,'" Odor said. "So automatically [Calhoun] is out, because I was on the base. I see Profar touch the runner, touch the base and throw to me, so that's a triple play already, you know? But the only reason I went to tag Calhoun is because Elvis was yelling at me. I don't know what the umpires saw, but it was already a triple play."
It took away the Angels' momentum after they had built an early lead. The Halos scored five runs in the first and had a 6-3 lead at the time of the triple play.
"That was a real game-changer," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "Profar made a great play on it. Fletch hit the ball hard, and they got out of the fourth inning with no damage at a time when we were going to pad our lead and hopefully get far enough in front."
The Rangers then took that momentum as they rallied for four runs in the eighth for the come-from-behind victory.
"I think [the triple play] was the play that changed the game," Rangers starter Ariel Jurado said. "Because after that, we started coming back and turned around the score. It gave us a chance to win."
Jacob Prothro is a contributor to MLB.com based in Arlington.