“Let’s be ready for the triple play,” Ian Kinsler told rookie infielder Jeimer Candelario on Friday. “Let’s do the triple play.” In the sixth inning of Friday’s 5-4 squeaker over the Blue Jays, with runners on first and second, the Tigers finally got their chance. Kevin Pillar smoked a ball to the third-base line, catching Candelario square in the mitt as he retired Justin Smoak and fired the ball to Ian Kinsler at second. Kinsler gloved the ball ahead of Kendrys Morales, then airmailed it to Efren Navarro to catch Pillar seconds before he touched the first base bag.
While the feat was a first for infielders Candelario and Navarro, it was the second such play for Ian Kinsler. The first, strangely enough, was a 4-6-6 maneuver against the Tigers in 2009.
The Tigers hadn’t turned a triple play in 16 years, when Damion Easley, Deivi Cruz and Shane Halter executed a 4-6-3 versus the visiting 2001 Mariners. On Friday, their timing couldn’t have been better, as the Blue Jays came within a run of tying the game after Kendrys Morales’ RBI single in the sixth. Richard Urena and Jose Bautista added a pair of homers in the eighth inning, but Ian Kinsler’s seventh-inning solo shot ended up being the only lead Detroit needed for their 60th win of the season.