Orlando makes triples history with 5th in 7 games
KANSAS CITY -- Just as Royals outfielder Paulo Orlando was about to do yet another postgame session with reporters, left-hander Danny Duffy walked by shaking his head.
"Fastest man alive," Duffy said.
Well, maybe not the fastest man, but Orlando is etching his name in the record books with his obsession with triples. He got his fifth of the season on Monday night, a two-run triple to right-center that capped the Royals' 7-1 win over the Twins.
Orlando is the first Major League player in history to have five triples in his first seven games. Naturally, Orlando, the third Brazilian to reach the big leagues, leads all of baseball with those five triples.
Orlando said he knows pretty early after he makes contact when he has a chance for a triple.
"Usually when it gets over the infielder's head," he said. "… The whole game, I tried to pull everything. But the last pitcher, we got a report that he threw a little cutter, so I tried to think right side."
Orlando stroked a liner off Tim Stauffer into the right-center gap. And Orlando clearly is falling in love with the spacious gaps at Kauffman Stadium.
"It helps," manager Ned Yost said of the bigger ballpark. "But if you watch him fly around the bases, he's going to hit triples in any ballpark when he puts the ball in the gap."
Orlando's teammates are giving him a good-natured hard time.
"They'll say to me, 'You're never hitting singles, all you hit is triples,'" Orlando said. "They are very funny. I'm just trying to use my speed to help the team."
Orlando hit 63 triples during his nine years in the Minor Leagues. And he hit many more triples before that, he said, which led the White Sox to scouting him in Brazil. The Royals then acquired him from the White Sox in 2008.
"The first time the guy who scouted me for the White Sox saw me [in Brazil] he said to me, 'All you do is hit triples. You never hit home runs,'" Orlando said, smiling.
No one in Kansas City is upset about that.