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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