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Yasiel Puig hits three of Dodgers' five triples, joins elite company

Yasiel Puig returned to the lineup with a bang-bang-bang on Friday night, becoming the first Los Angeles Dodgers player since Jimmy Sheckard in 1901 to hit three triples in a single game.

Puig also added a double in what has to be considered the offensive performance of the season for a single player. He finished 4 for 5 with two runs and two RBIs as the Dodgers cruised to an 8-1 victory over the San Francisco GIants. 

Here's how Puig's historic night played out.

In the first inning, Puig was credited with a triple in somewhat controversial fashion. His long drive to left-center field off Tim Lincecum that appeared to hit the wall, which allowed him to race around to third for a sliding triple. However, first umpire Adam Hamari signaled home run, which created some confusion. Manager Don Mattingly quickly ran out looking for confirmation and a review soon followed.

Replays clearly showed a fan in the first row touching the ball before it bounced back on the field, it was just difficult to tell whether or not it cleared the fence. The umpires said it didn't, which based on the evidence should have led to ground-rule double being the call. However, Puig was allowed to remain at third, which could indicate the umpires felt it was inconclusive.

So that's one triple down, two more conventional and less confusing triples to go. In the fifth, Puig visited right center field at AT&T Park, just a few feet left of the aptly named Triples Alley. That plated Dee Gordon, who tripled right before him.

The trio of triples was completed in the sixth inning when Puig visited right-center field again and tucked it into Triples Alley. Another run came around to score, and Puig probably could have done cartwheels the final 90 feet as he became the 49th player in MLB history with at least three triples in one game.

The single game record is four, which has been done twice. For perspective, there have been 16 four home run games.   

That's a long, long time ago, though Puig did have one more chance to rewrite that portion of baseball history. He ended up flying out to deep center field in the eighth inning.

Here's another interesting note to take away from Puig's performance on Friday.

As a team, the Dodgers hit three triples in the fifth inning. Dee Gordon and Puig went back-to-back, and then Matt Kemp added the third. That, too, was not a record. 

The magic number when it comes to triples is four, and based on the numbers we won't see another player make a run at the single-game record very often. Then again, that may change with Yasiel Puig around. He has the necessary physical tools, and he loves to run until someone tags him. That may be the only formula that makes it possible. 

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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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