Every time you go to the ballpark you might see something you’ve never seen before. And such was the case Monday at Guaranteed Rate Field, where fans saw the first 8-5 triple play in MLB history. The Minnesota Twins turned the first-of-its-kind triple play against the home Chicago White Sox (GameTracker), though it would be more accurate to say the White Sox ran into the triple play.
Here’s the video. AJ Pollock lifted a well-struck fly ball with runners on first and second to Byron Buxton in center field, and Yoan Moncada and Adam Engel both had a bit of a mental lapse on the bases following the catch.
Although the triple play is the headliner, you should take a moment to appreciate Buxton’s catch. That was not an easy play. Statcast says Pollock’s drive had an 82 percent hit probability based on the launch angle and exit velocity. Buxton is just that good in center field.
MLB.com and the SABR database confirm it is indeed the first 8-5 triple play in baseball history. By my unofficial count, this is the 27th triple play started by a center fielder, and the first since former New York Mets center fielder Angel Pagan started a 8-2-6-3 triple play with a shoestring catch against the Washington Nationals in 2010.
The Twins have made a habit of turning triple plays the past few years. Monday’s was their fourth since 2019. No team has more. The White Sox, meanwhile, have hit into triple plays in back-to-back seasons after not hitting into one from 2011-20.
This is the third triple play this season. The Texas Rangers turned a 3-3-6 triple play against the Seattle Mariners on April 20,.
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