Posted by Andy on June 2, 2011
In last night's Indians-Blue Jays slugfest, Toronto hit three consecutive triples in the 5th inning. They were stroked by Eric Thames, Rajai Davis, and Jayson Nix.
This has got to be a very rare occurrence. After all, 3 triples in an entire game by 1 team isn't even that common:
Those are all the previous such games with 3+ triples going back to last year.
One game, the 9/25/2010 one, comes tantalizingly close, with Jay Payton and Carlos Gonzalez hitting back-to-back triples ahead of a Troy Tulowitzki homer. Then, Melvin Mora tripled right after Tulo's hit. That's 3 triples and a homer over a span of 4 batters.
The Associated Press account of last night's game says the last time a team hit 3 consecutive triples was in this May5th, 1981 Expos game, when Mike Gates, Tim Raines, and Tim Wallach did it in the bottom of the 9th. Sadly, like the Blue Jays last night, it came in a game in which their team was already getting blown out.
Now here's a neat bit of trivia for those of you who like round numbers. If we include last night's Jays' game (which does not yet appear in the database at the time I'm writing this post), then that 1981 Expos game is exactly the 200th most recent time 1 team hit 3 or more triples in a game and the last time 3 triples came consecutively.
Add in the symmetry that both times it was done by a Canadian team at home in a blowout loss, and we have something quite rare.
(Thanks to reader Corey W who emailed me about this!)