Homers aren’t the only thing Phillies outfielder Rhys Hoskins can do. He can also start triple plays, as he showed on Sunday afternoon against the Cubs.
The Cubs were threatening in the top of the fifth inning as Anthony Rizzo walked and Tommy La Stella singled. With a 1-1 count, Javier Baez hit a sinking liner to left field. Hoskins was able to snag the ball just before it hit the grass. Hoskins got up, bobbled the ball, threw to second baseman Cesar Hernandez to get the out on Rizzo. Hernandez fired the ball to first baseman Tommy Joseph to get the out on La Stella. The Cubs challenged the play, but the ruling on the field was upheld.
This marked the sixth triple play of the 2017 season. It’s the Phillies’ first since August 7 last year against the Padres when Jabri Blash grounded into a 5-4-3 triple play. It’s the first time the Cubs have been victims of a triple play since September 14, 2014 against the Pirates when Matt Szczur grounded into a 5-4-3 triple play.
Hoskins hit the 11th homer of his young major league career in the bottom of the eighth and the Phillies went on to win 6-3.
With his Astros trailing the Tigers 2-1, catcher Robinson Chirinos began his at-bat in the bottom of the ninth a triple shy of the cycle. He doubled in the second inning, singled in the fourth, and hit a solo homer in the seventh. Yordan Álvarez and Yuli Gurriel both struck out, leaving the Astros’ fate in the hands of Chirinos against Joe Jiménez. After working the count to 2-1, Chirinos slapped an 85 MPH slider to the gap in right-center field. A diving Travis Demeritte could not come up with the ball, but center fielder Harold Castro fired the ball back in to Gordon Beckham, who then made a perfect throw to Dawel Lugo at third base. Chirinos was tagged out for the final out of the game. No triple, no cycle. The Astros lost 2-1.
Chirinos was attempting to become the first Astro to hit for the cycle since Brandon Barnes on July 19, 2013 against the Mariners.
The Astros entered Wednesday’s game as the largest favorite in 15 seasons, according to ESPN’s David Purdum. The Astros were -500 per Caesars Sportsbook. Other sportsbooks had them at -550. So the Tigers’ win was quite the upset.
Justin Verlander went the distance in the loss. The only blemishes on his line were solo homers to Ronny Rodríguez in the fifth and John Hicks in the ninth. They were the only hits he allowed while walking none and striking out 11.