NEW YORK -- A hard-hit ground ball, quick thinking and questionable baserunning added up to the Reds turning their first triple play in over two decades on Tuesday night vs. the Yankees -- and a run still scored.
In what became a 4-2 Cincinnati loss to New York, Reds rookie starter Luis Castillo was in big trouble during the bottom of the second inning after giving up singles to Matthew Holliday, Didi Gregorius and Chase Headley, loading the bases with no outs. In his first at-bat for the Yankees at Yankee Stadium, and in a 3-1 count, former Red Todd Frazier sharply hit a one-hop grounder to shortstop Jose Peraza, who touched second base and fired to Joey Votto at first base for a double play as Holliday crossed the plate. It's the 10th time a run has scored on a triple play, according to SABR's Triple Play Database, and the first in 11 years: The Mariners did so on a triple play executed by the Twins on May 27, 2006.
Running from second base, Gregorius at first broke back to the bag and then made a late run for third base.
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"It's a line drive, so you've got to freeze on a line drive," Gregorius said. "I know [Peraza] is playing close to me, so that's why I ran back to the bag. When I saw it was short-hopped, then I got my chance to go to third, but I was caught halfway."
Votto noticed and threw to third baseman Eugenio Suarez.
"I knew we had the rundown between second and third. I said, 'We have a triple play there,'" Peraza said via translator Julio Morillo.
Suarez threw to Peraza, who chased down Gregorius, and Gregorius was called out for going out of the baseline.
The official scoring decision was a 6-6-3-3-5-6 triple play, with a run scored and no RBI. No one was happier than Castillo.
"I will never forget that, a triple play with the bases loaded. That's amazing," Castillo said, with Morillo translating. "If people say a double play is the best friend of a pitcher, what about a triple play?"
Peraza said he never considered throwing to the plate first to get Holliday, and Reds manager Bryan Price was glad.
"I'd like to say we practice that in Spring Training, but we don't," Price said. "That was one of those plays where it was hit hard enough for Peraza to consider going to the plate with the ball, and I think he made a smart play. [We were] really trying to stay away from the big inning right there.
"If we won that game, we could have gone back and said that play was a game-saver, because that was a huge inning waiting to happen."
Frazier played for the Reds from 2011-15 and came up through the organization. He was traded from the White Sox to the Yankees on July 18, and he didn't exactly have a magical moment for his first at-bat in pinstripes.
"I think I set a record for first-ever batter with the Yankees to hit into a triple play," Frazier said. "It's funny to laugh about it now, but at the time I was a little upset. Brett Gardner was laughing at me. I think somebody asked for the ball so they could have it. It was just unbelievable. You get into a hitter's count and away it goes. We got a run in, which helped, but at the same time, hopefully that doesn't ever happen again."
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It was the third triple play turned in the Majors this season, and the Reds' first since Sept. 12, 1995, vs. the Marlins -- Jeff Branson to Bret Boone to Hal Morris.
The last time the Yankees hit into a triple play was at Tampa Bay on Sept. 27, 2011, when Russell Martin hit into one. It was also the first time a run scored on a triple play since May 27, 2006 (Twins vs. Mariners).
Suarez felt that everyone playing defense for the Reds was alert, and it helped them work quickly.
"That was a really good play by Peraza," Suarez said. "He got it and threw quick to first base. We had a chance because Didi stopped halfway. We finished that play really good."