Martin Perez has proven in recent weeks that he knows how to get into trouble on the pitching mound, but he also has shown the ability to get out of it on occassion.
For the second time in just over two weeks, Perez found himself in a tough situation on Wednesday but was able to get out of the inning thanks to a triple play. This time it came with the bases loaded and the Twins trailing the Atlanta Braves, 6-0, in the third inning at Target Field. The Braves won the game, 11-7.
Tyler Flowers hit a sharp grounder right to third baseman Miguel Sano. Sano stepped on third, threw to second baseman Jonathan Schoop who relayed the ball to first baseman C.J. Cron to get Flowers by just over a step.
❗ 5-4-3 ❗
— FOX Sports North (@fsnorth) August 7, 2019
That gave the Twins their 14th triple play since moving to Minnesota in 1961.
The 13th came on July 22 against the Yankees at Target Field and also featured Perez on the mound. New York’s Edwin Encarnacion hit a first-inning grounder to third baseman Luis Arraez for a 5-4-3 triple play that included Schoop and Sano.
The big-league league record for most triple plays in one season is three. The Chicago White Sox did it in 2016, making them the most recent of several teams to do so in major league history.
The 2017 Baltimore Orioles were the last team to turn two triple plays in a season, according to MLB.com. Perez is the first pitcher to be on the mound for two triple plays in a season since Milwaukee’s Zach Davies in 2016.
The Twins are no stranger to turning multiple triple plays in a season. In fact, on July 17, 1990, the Twins turned two 5-4-3 triple plays in a game against the Red Sox at Fenway Park. Both triple plays started with third baseman Gary Gaetti, who threw to second baseman Al Newman and then ended with first baseman Kent Hrbek getting the final putout.