Angels hit four triples in five batters in third inning

Aybar and Cron go back-to-back, then Giavotella and Cowgill do the same

Angels hit four triples in five batters in third inning

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- If you think hitting a triple in a Major League game is hard, try four in a span of five batters.

The Angels did that against Indians starter Trevor Bauer in the third inning at Goodyear Ballpark on Friday night.

Erick Aybar got one on a liner down the right-field line and C.J. Cron, not necessarily fleet of foot, followed with one on a deep drive to left-center. Two batters later, Johnny Giavotella slid safely for a triple on a ball hit to almost the exact location as Cron's and Collin Cowgill followed with one on a drive to deep right-center.

Angels manager and former Dodgers catcher Mike Scioscia wondered: "Is that what a triple is? I'm not really familiar with it."

Here's a little perspective: The Angels have never recorded more than three triples in an entire regular-season game. The last time a team hit four triples in one inning was July 17, 1936, when the Giants did it against the Pirates, according to Stats Inc.

"I don't recall ever seeing it at any level of baseball," Bauer said. "I asked like five or six different people in the dugout. I asked [Indians manager Terry Francona]. He said he's never seen it."

Since 1914, only three Indians pitchers have allowed four triples in an entire regular-season game -- let alone one inning -- and none have done it since Rick Sutcliffe in 1983. But Bauer is no stranger to odd history this spring, having also served up back-to-back-to-back homers to Cubs phenoms Jorge Soler, Javier Baez and Kris Bryant on March 10.

Hey, at least he got to work on backing up third base this time.

"I got really technical with that and made sure I cut off all the openings over there, so if a ball got by it wasn't going in the dugout," Bauer joked. "I was happy with my PFP work today."

Francona joked that there was a benefit to the four triples allowed by Bauer.

"The good side of it is we don't have to work on cutoffs and relays for a couple days," Francona said.

Francona was also pleased with how Bauer handled the situation.

"He's come so far," said the manager. "We were kidding him that I sent [pitching coach Mickey Callaway] out to the mound just so [outfielders Michael Brantley and Michael Bourn] could rest. He gets it. The ball really did come out of his hand really well. He's throwing all his pitches."

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. Jordan Bastian is a reporter for Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.