Not even surmounting a 9 ½ game lead in three weeks will make a team immune to a triple play. On Tuesday night, the Dodgers hit into one, the fourth of the 2014 season.
In the bottom of the fourth inning against the Indians, Los Angeles had already cut its deficit to 5-3 thanks to a Josh Beckett double, a Dee Gordon bunt single and a Yasiel Puig single -- a sequence that chased Cleveland starter Justin Masterson in favor of reliever Kyle Crockett. Crockett induced Adrian Gonzalez to hit a short fly ball to left field where a charging Michael Brantley made a routine catch, then threw a one-hopper home to catcher Yan Gomes in time to nab Gordon, who had tagged up.
Just when the play appeared over, Gomes spotted Puig bolting for second base. He threw to Jason Kipnis, who applied the tag. Second base umpire Paul Nauert called Puig safe before a bit of confusion ensued. First, Indians manager Terry Francona challenged the ruling at second base, which was overturned upon review. Then, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly challenged the ruling at home plate, where umpire Larry Vanover's call was upheld. Take a look for yourself:
Score that a 7-2-4 triple play, the first such combo since the White Sox completed the feat against the Mariners on June 15, 1986 according to ESPN Stats & Info. It was the first triple play in the majors since June 6, when the Cardinals pulled one off at the expense of the Blue Jays. Before that, the Rockies made one against the Padres thanks to an interference call on May 18 and the Yankees turned one against the Rays on April 17.
The last time the Dodgers hit into a triple play was on August 15, 2011 against the Brewers. James Loney grounded into a force out at second base, was doubled up at first and then Matt Kemp, who was on second, was thrown out at home plate trying to score.