They’ve heard the “Who’s on first jokes?” They’ve barely played together as a group. Still, there they were, the New York Yankees infield high-fiving and smiling with glee after having turned a most improbable triple play.
“That was awesome,” injured first baseman Mark Teixeira said Friday night after the Yankees’ 5-2 victory over the Baltimore Orioles. “That’s one of the toughest triple plays you’ll ever see.”
And how. For those scoring at home, mark it as a 4-6-5-6-5-3-4 in your books.
Put names to the numbers and it won’t be Derek Jeter at shortstop, Alex Rodriguez at third base or Teixeira at first. Jayson Nix, filling in for the fill-in shortstop, Kevin Youkilis at third base and Lyle Overbay on first completed the Yankees’ first triple play in the Bronx in 45 years.
Baltimore started the eighth inning with singles by Alexi Casilla and Nick Markakis off CC Sabathia (2-1). Manny Machado then hit a sharp low liner that Robinson Cano caught on a short hop near second base. Cano threw to Nix, who entered in the third for Eduardo Nunez, at second for the forceout.
Casilla, thinking the ball was going to be caught by Cano, got trapped in a rundown between second and third base. Youkilis tagged Casilla and made a quick throw to Overbay when Machado ranged too far off the bag. Overbay then made an awkward throw to Cano, who tagged Machado, setting off a celebration.
“That’s like being a kid again,” Youkilis said. “That’s one of the coolest things I’ve ever had on the field. You don’t see one written up like that. It was special. This game we play, it’s one of these games where it’s a job and it’s a grind at times. But when stuff like that happens, you feel like you’re back playing Little League again.”
Overbay, signed in late March to help fill in for Teixeira, was worried his throw to Cano was going to spoil the effort. “Good thing he’s got good hand-eye coordination,” Overbay said.
The Yankees, who moved over .500 for the first time this year, had last turned a triple play on April 22, 2010, at Oakland − with Sabathia on the mound. They hadn’t accomplished the feat in the Bronx since June 3, 1968, against Minnesota.
The Orioles’ had not hit into a triple play since April 3, 1996, against Kansas City.