OAKLAND -- The A's turned their first triple play in more than a decade on Tuesday night, tossing the ball around the horn against the Twins to aid lefty Brett Anderson's season debut in a 4-1 victory at The Coliseum.
With runners on first and second in a 1-1 game in the fifth, Anderson induced a sharp grounder from Minnesota's Trevor Plouffe that was gloved by third baseman Josh Donaldson, who stepped on the bag at third before throwing to Adam Rosales at second base.
Rosales placed his foot on second, grabbing hold of the high throw, while turning to whip the ball to first baseman Chris Carter, completing the 5-4-3 rarity.
"I was thinking, 'We can get three right here,'" Rosales said. "Thought that when Donaldson was stepping on the bag. It was like, 'We gotta go, we gotta hurry up right here.' It was hit pretty sharply and he made a great play on it. It was just a big part of the game to get Brett out of that and get the momentum back for him, because he was very good. It was pretty special to be a part of one."
Said Donaldson: "For me, that was awesome. I started it, but Rosie finished it. He did a great job there. I didn't make necessarily a great throw to him, kind of up, but he's a big dude and has a cannon for an arm.
"When it was hit, I knew I had a shot at it. I didn't know how realistic it would be. When I touched third, I saw [Justin] Morneau kind of in the line so I threw it inside of him and Rosie got in there, caught it, with the runner bearing down on him, and let his arm make up for the rest."
It marked the 21st triple play the A's have turned in franchise history and the eighth since they moved to Oakland. The last one came May 29, 2000, when Randy Velarde completed an unassisted triple play in New York.
"That was extremely exciting," Anderson said. "In that situation, you're trying to get a ground ball, maybe a double play. I didn't know how close it was going to be at first and fortunately we were able to get him out. It was a pretty special moment. I've never seen a triple play in person, let alone be on the mound for it, so it's pretty awesome and it kind of propelled me for the last two innings."
Anderson proceeded to shut down the Twins in those final frames, overall allowing just one run in seven innings in his first Major League start since June 5, 2011, following a lengthy rehab from Tommy John surgery.
"Just to see Anderson's reaction," Rosales said, "it got me pumped up too. It's an exciting play."
Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.