The sixth triple play in Rangers history was even rarer than that might imply.
To briefly recap Thursday’s gem: The Angels had the bases loaded when David Fletcher grounded to Rangers third baseman Jurickson Profar, filling in for injured Adrian Beltre. Profar made a diving backhand, short-hop stop on the ball, stepped on third for a forceout on Eric Young Jr. from second base, tagged out Taylor Ward, who was on third, and then threw to Rougned Odor at second to force out Kole Calhoun.
Can’t. Stop. Watching. pic.twitter.com/FV1WApLpqA
— Texas Rangers (@Rangers) August 17, 2018
How rare was the play? According to STATS (MLB’s official stats provider), it was the first triple play without retiring the batter since June 3, 1912, when the Brooklyn Dodgers did it against the Cincinnati Reds.
“Every runner thought it was a line drive, that’s why we got a triple play,” Profar said (via MLB.com). “I wasn’t sure why the runner at first base didn’t run either, so they thought it was a line drive.”
Said Ward, who was caught off third: “I tracked the ball into his glove, and it just hit the ground as it was going into his glove, so either way, I’m pretty much a dead duck, I feel like,” Ward said. “I think my best-case scenario right there probably would have been to maybe stay on the bag just in case, I think that would have been my only shot.”
The fourth-inning play took away the Angels’ momentum after they had built an early 6-3 lead. The Rangers rallied for an 8-6 win in Arlington.