For Pete's Sake

Royals’ Class A affiliate specializes in turning triple plays

The Royals’ Class A-Advanced affiliate in Wilmington, Del., was the first-half champions of the Carolina League’s Northern Division.

The Blue Rocks are also the champions of triple plays. On Tuesday in Myrtle Beach, Fla., they turned their third triple play of the season.

Take a look:

First off, great catch by second baseman Humberto Artega. He then threw to shortstop Jack Lopez, who tossed the ball to first baseman Ryan O’Hearn as the Pelicans were caught standing around.

“I made the catch (on the triple play). I got hurt on that one, but I hear the guys calling out ‘two, two, two!’ so I threw it to second (base),” Artega told the Blue Rocks’ web site. “I wasn’t expecting to make (that kind of play) but it happens. ...With those fly balls, it’s in-between (myself and Elier Hernandez) and we’re not sure who’s going to catch it.”

Artega stayed in the game, which Wilmington lost 6-1.

On June 9, Wilmington’s Mauricio Ramos started the more traditional 5-4-3 triple play in a 2-1 loss to Winston-Salem.

On April 19, the Blue Rocks turned three against Frederick thanks to some quick thinking from Lopez.

With two on, a ball was hit to Lopez, who let it drop. He tagged a runner, stepped on second for a force out and threw to first for the treble killing.

Unfortunately, there is no video of the play. But three triple plays this season? That’s got to lead organized baseball.

The Blue Rocks also turned a triple play in July 2014, so that’s four in a little more than a year. The team said that Wilmington had only two triple plays in the previous 16 seasons.

And you thought Wilmington was known only for its doughnut hot dog with jelly and bacon.

Hat tip to MiLB.com.

To reach Pete Grathoff, call 816-234-4330 or send email to pgrathoff@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter: @pgrathoff.

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