Yasiel Puig led a triples barrage by the Dodgers on Friday night, beating the Giants 8-1 in the opener of a three-game series on Friday night at AT&T Park in San Francisco. The Dodgers moved to within a half-game of the Giants with the win.
Puig tied a Dodgers franchise record with three triples, all in his first start in six days after getting hit on the left hand by a pitch in St. Louis.
His first triple was hit off the center field wall in the first inning, and reviewed by umpires to see if it was a home run, but there was no clear evidence the fan trying to catch the ball made contact with the ball. In fact, much to Bruce Bochy's consternation, the umpires couldn't tell whether the fan touched the ball at all, so instead of an automatic double Puig was allowed to remain at third base with a triple.
After scoring just 29 runs in their last 11 games, including seven games of two or fewer runs, the Dodgers took out their offensive frustration on Tim Lincecum, driving him from the game with five consecutive hits in the fifth inning, a five-run frame.
That inning included triples by Dee Gordon, Puig and Matt Kemp, and gave the Dodgers a 6-0 lead.
Puig, who also doubled in the third inning, hit an RBI triple in in the sixth inning, his fourth extra-base hit of the night, putting him into rarefied air.
Puig tied the Dodgers franchise record with three triples in a game, matching Jimmy Sheckard on April 18, 1901 against the Phillies.
Puig is the first player in baseball with three triples in a game since Denard Span on June 29, 2010 for the Twins against the Tigers.
Puig is the first Dodger with four extra-base hits in a game since Matt Kemp, who doubled three times and homered against the Giants on Sept. 22, 2011.
Puig is one of three Dodgers with four extra-base hits without a home run since 1914, joining Juan Pierre (May 29, 2007) and Johnny Cooney (Aug, 21, 1937). Both Pierre and Cooney had three doubles and a triple.
The Dodgers matched their own franchise record with five triples, set also on Aug. 23, 1902 against the Pirates and on July 7, 1921 against the Giants at the Polo Grounds. That 1902 game against the Pirates featured the Dodgers' record of four triples in one inning, in the third against Pittsburgh.
Gordon's triple was his 10th, adding to his major-league-leading total. He is the first Dodger with double-digit triples in a season since Kenny Lofton in 2006, with 12. The Los Angeles Dodgers record for triples in a season is 16, set by Willie Davis in 1970.
Puig now has eight triples, tied with Brandon Crawford and Alex Rios for second place in the major leagues.
The Dodgers had 17 triples as a team in 2013. Gordon and Puig alone, with 18, have that beat so far this season.
Gordon was 3-for-5 with pair of runs scored and stole his 46th base of the year, also tops in baseball.
Kemp, with one of the five triples, was 3-for-5 with a pair of RBI.
Adrian Gonzalez was 2-for-4 with a walk and drove in two runs. He leads the National League with 67 RBI.
Puig entered the game hitting .308/.398/.519. He ended the night hitting .315/.402/.543.
In his first start of the season in center field, Puig fielded all of three balls, a routine fly out by Hunter Pence in the eighth followed by a nice job tracking down a drive by Buster Posey to open the ninth, and a fly out by old friend Tony Abreu to end the game.
Home runs: none
WP - Zack Greinke (12-6): 7 IP, 4 hits, 1 walk, 10 strikeouts
LP - Tim Lincecum (9-7): 4⅓ IP, 9 hits, 6 runs, 6 strikeouts