Ethier was at first with one out in the fourth when Yasmani Grandal hit a grounder toward right field. Rizzo fielded the ball between first and second, and was able to tag Ethier as the right fielder headed toward second base. Rizzo then turned and threw to pitcher Kyle Hendricks, who was covering at first, to get Grandal and end the inning.
"That was a heads-up play," Hendricks said. "[Rizzo] was looking to throw to second and didn't realize [Ethier] was standing right next to him and tagged him out. That was one good play."
It was definitely a first for Rizzo.
"I got to the ball and I kind of heard Ethier mutter something, and that's when I knew I was able to tag him," Rizzo said. "I looked at the replay, and I guess he paused to not get hit by the ball."
It definitely wasn't a normal double play.
"It was kind of bizarre," Rizzo said.
Boston's Mike Napoli was part of a similar double play last season vs. Detroit, fielding a Victor Martinez grounder and tagging baserunner Torii Hunter before tossing to Jake Peavy at first to complete the double play on Martinez.
Prior to that double play last season, the last 3-1 double play on a ground ball came on Sept. 28, 2010, when the Blue Jays (Lyle Overbay to Kyle Drabek) did it against the Yankees.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.