In the fourth inning of the Detroit Tigers game against the Toronto Blue Jays on September 8, 2017, the Tigers did something they had not done since 2001.
They turned a triple play.
The fourth inning started rather auspiciously, with starter Buck Farmer striking out Jose Bautista who then reached base on a passed ball. Justin Smoak followed that up with a single, and Kendrys Morales singled again, scoring Bautista and moving Smoak to second base.
No outs, two runners on and a run already in certainly was not the ideal situation for the Tigers. They made an early move to the bullpen, bringing in reliever Drew VerHagen hoping he could limit the damage.
Indeed he did, getting center fielder Kevin Pillar to roll a groundball directly down the third base line. Rookie Jeimer Candelario fielded the ball smoothly and stepped on third. He fired the ball over to Ian Kinsler who smoothly turned the ball over to first baseman Efren Navarro, turning the first triple play for the Tigers since 2001.
Not only was the triple play a rare, exciting play for the Tigers, it was a huge rally killer for the Blue Jays. They entered the fifth inning trailing 4-2 after having two on and nobody out. Ian Kinsler went deep in the fifth inning to make it 5-2, and the Tigers went on to win 5-4.
Without that crucial triple play, the Tigers probably would have lost that game.