White Sox turn 7-6-3 triple play against Royals

Coats starts rare feat in 5th, then inside-the-park homer goes by him in 7th

White Sox turn 7-6-3 triple play against Royals

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Tony Cruz has never hit into a triple play. Jason Coats has never been part of one.

Both of those facts changed on Thursday at Camelback Ranch in the White Sox 9-2 loss to the Royals.

The White Sox turned a triple play during the fifth inning, with Reymond Fuentes on second and Dusty Coleman on first. It was Cruz's line shot off White Sox reliever Scott Carroll that started the festivities.

"It was unfortunate. The runners were going," Cruz said. "Hit it hard. Any time you get a triple play, it's pretty odd."

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Coats made the catch and fired to shortstop Jimmy Rollins for the second out. Rollins then threw on to first baseman Mike Olt to complete the triple play.

White Sox turn triple play

"I just got lucky," said a smiling Coats. "All I had to do was get it into the infield, and it was an easy triple play. I thought off the bat it might be a little bit in front of me.

"But then it just carried enough to me. Once I caught it, both the guys were at the next base, so all I had to do was toss it into the infield."

During Kansas City's seven-run seventh, it was Drew Butera's line drive that tipped off Coats' glove and resulted in an inside-the-park homer. It completed the odd afternoon, although it was difficult to top the triple play.

"I've seen it on ESPN and stuff being turned," Coats said. "But never in person or at least never involved in one either."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.