It could be said there aren’t really inside-the-park home runs at the MLB level, just doubles and triples with bad defense. In that vein, the Atlanta Braves sort of turned a triple play on Tuesday, but it might be more accurate to say it was a double play with bad baserunning.
The play came during the third inning in a road game against the Boston Red Sox. With Boston’s Masataka Yoshida on second base and Adam Duvall on first, Triston Casas hit a shallow fly ball into center field.
Braves center fielder Michael Harris II caught the ball for the first out. At that moment, Duvall was in no man’s land after getting too close to second base in case Harris didn’t catch the ball and got the nearby forceout. That allowed Harris to easily throw him out as he ran back to first.
Then things got weird.
Yoshida, perhaps thinking the Braves weren’t paying attention to him, booked it for third and was thrown out by Matt Olson by a good 10 feet. Here’s the whole thing:
The end result was the first triple play in the majors this season, the Braves’ first triple play since May 6, 2004 and the first 8-3-5 triple play since the Boston Beaneaters turned one in 1885, per MLB.com’s Molly Burkhardt.
Statcast tracking didn’t explain much for the Red Sox. Yoshida, who also had to run back to second, doesn’t start moving toward third until the ball is already in the infield:
So that’s how the third inning went for the Red Sox, who were up 2-1 at the time. The good news is the rest of the game went better, with Boston winning 7-1 to improve their record to 54-47.
Despite being seven games above .500, the Red Sox still sit two games back from the final wild-card spot in the American League thanks to the historically competitive AL East. They made their first move at the MLB trade deadline by sending utility man Kiké Hernández to the Los Angeles Dodgers for prospects, but that might have been addition by subtraction given Hernández’s .222/.279/.320 and $10 million salary.