It's not often that you see a big-league hitter record a three-run single, but Kendrys Morales did it with a pinch-hit appearance during the eighth inning of the Los Angeles Angels' 6-3 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Monday night.
Watch how it happened here:
To notch a three-run single, it certainly helps if you have all-world speedster Peter Bourjos taking off from first base on contact. It's also nice when you have a hitter who's honest about his speed. Morales' three-run single was also a product of his correct decision to hold at first base while Bourjos dashed toward home. No need to get gunned down at second while a valuable insurance run was making its way around third.
I haven't quite figured out how to manipulate Baseball-Reference's Play-Index to spit out an all-time list of three-run singles (anyone?), but Baseball Think Factory believes it's the first one in the regular season since Magglio Ordonez did it in 2008. Using a narrower set of parameters, Morales joins seven other pinch hitters since 1918 to record a three-run single in their one plate appearance.
Angels fans might also remember that it was a three-run single that spelled doom for their team during a relatively recent playoff loss. Boston's Jacoby Ellsbury hit a three-run single against the Angels in Game 3 of the 2008 ALDS for the first true three-run single in postseason history. (There was also Robin Ventura's grand slam single in 1999.)
In the case of Ellsbury's play, the three-run single was a product of miscommunication between three Angels defenders, and three runners who were running on the play.