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The Strike Zone

New York Yankees turn season's first triple play in game vs. Tampa Bay Rays

The Yankees pulled off the season's first triple play Wednesday night at Tropicana Field. Like the other two they've turned over the past five seasons, CC Sabathia was on the mound.

Staked to a 4-0 lead against David Price, Sabathia appeared as though he might surrender at least part of his cushion in the bottom of the second inning, when Evan Longoria led off with a double and then Wil Myers worked a walk.

Sabathia threw an 88 mph fastball to Sean Rodriguez to start the next at-bat, and Rodriguez hit a chopper down the third base line. Yangervis Solarte fielded it cleanly just one step from the bag, then threw to Brian Roberts at second base. He one-hopped the ball over to first, where Scott Sizemore — making his first professional appearance at first base — made a nice scoop to complete the trifecta.

As triple plays go, it was a fairly conventional one, much more so than the one the Yankees pulled off on April 12, 2013. With Sabathia backed by a completely different infield of first baseman Lyle Overbay, second baseman Robinson Cano, shortstop Jayson Nix and third baseman Kevin Youkilis, Baltimore's Manny Machado hit into what began as a forceout at second base and went on to include a pair of rundowns, thus producing the first-ever 4-6-5-6-5-3-4 triple play in major league history:

Sabathia was also on the mound when Oakland's Kurt Suzuki hit into a 5-4-3 involving Alex Rodriguez, Robinson Cano and Nick Johnson on April 22, 2010:

[mlbvideo id="7593585" width="600" height="336" /]

Prior to that, the Yankees hadn't turned a triple play since June 3, 1968. On the other side of the ledger, it was a bit of déjà vu all over again for Rodriguez, who hit into the Rays' most recent triple play on August 16, 2011 against Boston, a 5-4-3 involving pitcher Erik Bedard and infielders Jed Lowrie, Dustin Pedroia and Adrian Gonzalez:

[mlbvideo id="18082987" width="600" height="336" /]

If you really want to delve into triple play history, the Society for American Baseball Research's page on triple plays claims to have details on 689 triple plays dating back to 1876 — by year, by month, by team, by inning, by position and any other way you'd care to slice and dice — but it hasn't been updated to include 2013, let alone 2014.

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