Tigers turn triple play against Braves

LAKELAND, Fla. -- It was a great play that won't count in a Grapefruit League game that was rained out, but Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler will remember the triple play he and shortstop Jose Iglesias turned in Friday's game against the Braves. It happened because he and Iglesias remembered what order to turn the outs.

"It was a cool play," Kinsler said.

It was also an escape for Shane Greene in his latest audition for the Tigers' fifth-starter slot.

Tigers Triple Play

The Braves' split-squad lineup loaded the bases against Greene in the second inning without a ball hit out of the infield. Back-to-back walks to Blake Lalli and Hector Olivera preceded Jace Peterson's slow roller to third, which Peterson beat out.

Greene, known as a double-play pitcher when his sinker is on, one-upped that when Braves catcher Willians Astudillo hit a sinking liner to short. Lalli took a step, but he then retreated to second base thinking Iglesias could double him up if he caught the ball on the fly.

Instead, Iglesias knocked the ball down and flipped it to Kinsler, who had to do some quick thinking at second.

"When it [hits the ground and becomes] a force play, he's forced to go to third," Kinsler said. "So you have to tag him first, and then you can step on the base to get the force at second, and then you throw to first.

"It was kind of like a perfect storm really. … I was definitely thinking about it. When he's standing there, I know I have to tag that guy first if I want him to be out before I step on the base. If I step on the base [first], then it's his base."

The two teams combined for three double plays and the triple play, allowing them to get through four innings before storms washed out the game. Since they didn't get through five innings, the game isn't official, even in Grapefruit League statistics.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.