Unassisted Triple Play, Offense

Tonight, when the Sox batted around in the top of the 10th, Kevin Millar made both the second and third outs. This made me wonder: Has any batter ever made all three outs in an inning?

Let’s half-jokingly call this an unassisted triple play on offense. For it to happen, the team would have to bat around twice. At minimum that will result in 13 runs, if the leadoff hitter makes all three outs and leaves the bases loaded. (Assume we’re not counting outs made on the basepaths.) So there’s a starting point to start searching box scores.

Scoring 13 runs in an inning is not that common, but the Yankees have done it twice this year, both times against the Devil Rays. In the 4/19 game, 10 consecutive batters reached during the inning — no dice. On 6/21, Ruben Sierra made the first out, but Russ Johnson ended it.

I haven’t yet found a database with the capability to search historical box scores for something like “runs in inning > 13”. I’ll keep you posted. My intuition is that this has probably never happened — though allowing for one of the outs to be made on the basepaths might find one.

An even looser requirement would be that the batter just has to put the ball in play on all three outs. This removes the “unassisted” qualifier, and makes it pretty trivial. To make an out and then later hit into a double play only requires batting around once. And of course, every “defensive” triple play becomes an offensive triple play under those rules.

By the way, the last real unassisted triple play (on defense) was pulled off by the Braves’ Rafael Furcal on 8/10/2003. (Source: Retrosheet.)

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