The Cleveland Indians have been searching a lot during the 2019 season.
Most notably, they’ve been searching for better luck in the health department and more consistency between the white lines.
But it’s not just those important elements that have proven elusive. Some stats have gone missing as well. In particular, the Indians entered Wednesday’s game against the Boston Red Sox with a giant goose egg in a statistical category that will probably shock you.
The Indians went an MLB-record 54 games without a triple to start this season. But they finally put that streak to rest in convincing fashion, collecting three triples in their 14-9 win at Fenway Park.
Carlos Santana, who entered the game with 15 career triples in 5,686 MLB plate appearances, surprisingly provided the streak-breaker with a run-scoring triple in the first inning.
Greg Allen then tripled the team’s total all by himself. He knocked in two runs with a third-inning triple. Then he started a seventh-inning rally with another triple to complete the trifecta.
Overall, the Indians went 55 games without a triple. Their last in 2018 was also hit by Allen on Sept. 28. The Baltimore Orioles own the longest drought between triples in MLB history, going 67 games from May 31 to Aug. 13 in 2016.
The other drought
Here’s the kicker. The Indians weren’t the only team in MLB to enter play on Wednesday without a triple. The Miami Marlins had yet to hit one in 52 games, which also would have beat the previous record of 41 games set by the 1982 San Francisco Giants.
The Marlins won’t have to worry about standing alone though. Starlin Castro hit their first triple of the season in Wednesday’s 4-2 victory against the Giants. The Kansas City Royals lead the league this season with 22 triples.
Cleveland has not traditionally been a triples-hitting team. They’ve only finished in the top 15 once (2016) over the last 20 seasons. Considering their lineup features a pair of extra-base hit machines in Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez, that’s a little bit surprising. But it probably says more about their home ballpark, Progressive Field, than anything else.
The Indians will hope Wednesday’s triple’s breakout will lead to a larger breakthrough. At 28-27, they are 9 1/2 games behind the first-place Minnesota Twins. The margin for error is thin, and the distance to travel will require a lot more triples.
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