The Atlanta Braves achieved a piece of history on Tuesday night, turning an 8-3-5 triple play for only the second time ever in the major leagues.
Center fielder Michael Harris caught a shallow fly by the Boston Red Sox’ Triston Casas and threw to first base after Adam Duvall had strayed too far towards second base.
The throw easily got Duvall, then first baseman Matt Olson smartly fired the ball across the diamond to get Masataka Yoshida out at third after he tagged up and attempted to advance on Duvall’s running gaffe. Harris held up his arms and leaped as Austin Riley tagged out Yoshida, who was several steps away from the bag when Olson’s throw arrived.
After the game, Duvall was happy to poke fun at his running error, perhaps because the Red Sox ended up winning the game 7-1.
“My instincts told me right off the bat that it was off the end,” Duvall said. “I’m reading the outfielder. My goal is to get to second if it drops in front of him. I got out a little too far, and he made a good throw back. It’s one of those things; it’s risk/reward, and it didn’t go my way tonight.”
A Boston team were involved in the last 8-3-5 triple play in the majors. The Beaneaters turned one against the Providence Grays in 1884.
Triple plays are rare in baseball, partly because the conditions that allow them (for example, two baserunners and no outs) do not occur on most plays. On average, there are five triple plays every MLB season. The Braves’ last triple play came in 2004.