Mariners engineer rare 5-2-3-2 triple play

March 5th, 2021

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Some quick reflexes and strong instincts led the Mariners to turn the first triple play of 2021 in their 2-2 tie against the White Sox on Friday at Camelback Ranch. And the unique order of how it was turned -- 5-2-3-2 -- hasn’t been done in a Major League regular season game since Dwight Eisenhower was in the White House.

With the bases loaded, right-hander squared off against José Abreu in a jam. The reigning American League MVP Award winner chopped a dribbler to third baseman Donovan Walton, who ignited the play by hurling home to catcher Brian O'Keefe, who stepped on the plate to retire Zach Remillard then threw to first baseman to nab Abreu.

In the process, speedy White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson tried to capitalize on the fielding commotion and surged from second base, around third and to home. But Witte quickly re-fired home to O’Keefe, who quickly spun back around to nab the headfirst-diving Anderson.

It was a sound play all around defensively, executed by backups that will likely be headed to the Triple-A Tacoma roster.

“It's one of those plays, you laugh about it and you work on it,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “But the key to the whole play is the first throw. The third baseman, Donnie Walton, hit the catcher right in the chest. It's a simplicity of the game. It's playing catch, a good throw; that's what started the whole thing. So, you've got time for it to play out. It was fun to watch.

“Domingo Tapia walked off the mound like, ‘Ain't no big deal. I just got a triple play,’ and I’m like, ‘Triple play, man, you don't see that every day.’”

There have only been five 5-2-3-2 triple plays turned in MLB, most recently by the 1955 Cubs, though that data is only tracked from the regular season.