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Rene Rivera's three-run single a first in MLB since 2008

Mark Townsend
Big League Stew

The San Diego Padres are having a disappointing season and are currently without a general manager as a result. However, they've also shown an uncanny ability to make the most out of the least with an offense that ranks dead last in runs scored and team batting average in MLB.

On two different occasions this season, San Diego won a game with one single basehit. Only the 1965 Dodgers can say they've done the same thing. And though they finished with seven hits in their 3-0 victory against the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday, they essentially won another game on the strength of just one. 

With two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the first, backup catcher Rene Rivera hit a line drive that Cincinnati center fielder Billy Hamilton got his glove on, but couldn’t squeeze. That allowed all three runners to race around and score, but the not-so-fleet footed Rivera only made it to first. For those scoring at home, that's a straight up three-run single, which is something else we don't see in MLB very often.

In fact, according to Baseball Reference, it was the first three-run single since Magglio Ordonez hit one for the Detroit Tigers on Sept. 17, 2008. A near six-year space between occurrences, which cements that it's rare and requires unique circumstances to make it possible.

First, the bases obviously have to be loaded. Second, two outs in the inning make it much easier to pull off because the runners can take off with confidence on contact. Third, the batter has to be slower than average like Rene Rivera, or at least hobbled by injury, which was a constant issue for Ordonez in his final seasons.

Everything added up for San Diego, and fortunately for them it was all they needed to best All-Star candidate Johnny Cueto. The offense really owes a big thank you to starter Tyson Ross, who went the distance for his first major league shutout, striking out nine Reds along the way. Ross himself is a strong All-Star candidate as he lowered his season ERA to 2.93. 

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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