Twins turn their second triple play of the season

August 23rd, 2022

MINNEAPOLIS -- Considering they’re called the Minnesota Twins, it’s no surprise that good things come in pairs for this team -- including, evidently, triple plays.

On Monday, the Twins turned three for the second time this season to escape a fourth-inning jam against the Rangers. First baseman Jose Miranda and shortstop Carlos Correa combined for a 3-6 triple play on a line drive off the bat of Nathaniel Lowe for the 17th triple play in Twins history, the club’s most significant highlight in a 2-1 loss to Texas at Target Field.

“In my head, I was thinking, 'One pitch, two outs,'” said right-hander Sonny Gray, who was on the mound for Minnesota. “Never actually thought, ‘One pitch, three outs.’ So, yeah, I was thinking, like, make a good pitch, ground ball to the right side, double play, get this thing going. And next thing you know, I'm walking off the field with three outs, and that was nice. That was cool.”

Lowe hit a first-pitch fastball from Gray down the first-base line, where Miranda was perfectly positioned to snag the liner to his right. He scampered to first, where he doubled off Corey Seager, and threw to second base, where Correa tripled off Marcus Semien, who evidently got a bad read on the ball and had broken toward third base.

"I was yelling at Miranda, 'Throw it over here!’ And then I had to jump for it. So I wasn't happy about that,” Correa said with a laugh.

The Twins have now turned the last two triple plays in MLB, with Monday’s play joining their 8-5 triple play against the White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field on July 4 -- the first of its kind in AL/NL history -- to mark the fourth season in club history in which the Twins have turned multiple triple plays, joining 2019, 1990 and 1988.

There have now been 14 triple plays in MLB since the start of the 2019 season, and the Twins own five of those, the most in a four-season span since the Cubs also turned five from 1962-65. For the Twins, that includes the two this season, a 3-6-4 turn against the Royals at Kauffman Stadium last June, and a pair of 5-4-3, around-the-horn turns in a three-week span during the ‘19 season.

That made for a pair of fun coincidences, as the pitcher on the mound for the Twins during both of those Minnesota triple-play turns in ‘19 was Martín Pérez, who watched Monday’s play from the Rangers’ dugout after having made the start in Friday’s series opener.

It’s also noteworthy that both Lowe and Seager were involved in Monday’s play -- Lowe as the hitter, Seager as the runner on first -- as those two had been responsible for the last 3-6 triple play in MLB, turned by the Rangers against the Mariners at T-Mobile Park on April 20.

On any other night, the triple play would have been cause for much more postgame wonderment and celebration, but joy was difficult for the Twins to find on Monday, when their offense wrapped up a lackluster series in which Minnesota went 2-for-26 with men in scoring position to drop three of four to the Rangers. They needed a spark -- and they had hoped the triple play might have served as one.

“I was believing it was,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. “And that’s a few triple plays for us we’ve seen here. We’ll take a triple play, but we want some wins.”