Thursday’s Royals-White Sox game featured a triple play and an inside-the-park homer

AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

Spring training brings out the wackiness sometimes. Thursday’s Cactus League action between the White Sox and Royals featured both a triple play and an inside-the-park home run.

The triple occurred first, in the fifth inning of a 1-1 game. White Sox pitcher Scott Carroll had allowed the first two batters, Reymond Fuentes and Dusty Coleman, to reach base on a single and a walk, respectively. The next batter, Tony Cruz, hit a line drive to left fielder Jason Coats. Coats tossed the ball into shortstop Jimmy Rollins covering second base. Rollins touched the bag, then whipped the ball to first baseman Mike Olt before Coleman could return to the bag, completing the triple play. Fuentes and Coleman had both started running before Cruz made contact, so it was a rather easy triple play.

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The Royals exacted revenge in the seventh inning, though they were leading by a comfortable 7-2 margin. They had already put five runs up on the board in the frame when Drew Butera stepped to the plate with Orlando Calixte on second base. Butera smoked a Josh Wall fastball to deep left-center. Coats couldn’t get to the ball in time and he tripped trying to go after the ball. Center fielder Leury Garcia had trouble picking up the ball, which allowed Butera to score standing up before the relay throw reached the plate. While Butera isn’t exactly the least likely player to get an inside-the-park home run, he’s towards the bottom of the list.

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Free agent slugger José Abreu signs 3-year, $58.5M deal with Astros

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

HOUSTON — Jose Abreu and the World Series champion Astros agreed to a three-year, $58.5 million contract, adding another powerful bat to Houston’s lineup.

Abreu, the 2020 AL MVP, gets $19.5 million in each of the next three seasons.

He spent his first nine major league seasons with the Chicago White Sox. The first baseman became a free agent after batting .304 with 15 home runs, 75 RBIs and an .824 OPS this year.

With the Astros, he replaces Yuli Gurriel at first base in a batting order that also features All-Star sluggers Yordan Alvarez, Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and Kyle Tucker.

Gurriel became a free agent after Houston defeated the Philadelphia Phillies this month for its second World Series championship.

The 35-year-old Abreu becomes the biggest free agent to switch teams so far this offseason. Born in Cuba, the three-time All-Star and 2014 AL Rookie of the Year is a .292 career hitter in the majors with 243 homers, 863 RBIs and an .860 OPS.

The Astros announced the signing. Abreu was scheduled to be introduced in a news conference at Minute Maid Park.

He would get a $200,000 for winning an MVP award, $175,000 for finishing second in the voting, $150,000 for third, $125,000 for fourth and $100,000 for fifth. Abreu also would get $100,000 for earning World Series MVP and $75,000 for League Championship Series MVP, $75,000 for making the All-Star team and $75,000 for winning a Gold Glove or a Silver Slugger.

Abreu gets a hotel suite on road trips and the right to buy a luxury suite for all Astros home games.