Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig once again illustrated why he's one of the most exciting players in baseball Friday night, leading the offensive charge by tying a club record with three triples in an 8-1 win over the division-rival San Francisco Giants.
The team also tied a franchise record set in 1921 with five triples. You have to go back even further (1901) to the last time a Dodger had three triples in a game. Jimmy Sheckard notched three when the team was still in Brooklyn.
The Associated Press (via ESPN) reported the 23-year-old Cuban sensation spent a half-hour in the training room as part of his recovery from legging out that trio of three-baggers. Afterward, he provided a simple explanation for the night.
"I'm tired," he said. "I was just trying to hit the ball where nobody was."
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Puig finished the night with four hits in five at-bats, along with two RBI and another two scored, as the Dodgers pulled within a half-game of the Giants in the NL West race at 57-47.
The effort moved his batting average to .315 with an on-base percentage of .402. Both of those numbers are right in line with his breakout rookie season (.319, .391), which quickly made him into one of MLB's most hyped players.
It was also a great sign for the Dodgers. Puig missed three straight games prior to Wednesday due to a hand injury. Luckily for Los Angeles, it sure wasn't an issue at the plate during Friday's rout of the Giants.
ESPN Stats & Info noted the overall hitting performance from Puig was something not done in more than two decades:
Yasiel Puig is the 1st player with 3 triples and a double in a game since Herm Winningham in 1990.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 26, 2014
Indiana Pacers forward Paul George was watching and suggested the Giants start giving Puig one base instead of three:
The NL West has become a two-horse race between the Dodgers and Giants, as the third-place San Diego Padres are 10.5 games back.
That makes each of these head-to-head matchups between now and season's end so important. The teams will meet up eight more times in the regular season, including Saturday and Sunday in San Francisco.
Starter Tim Lincecum took the loss after giving up six earned runs in 4.1 innings of work. Zack Greinke got the win for Los Angeles after pitching seven shutout innings with 10 strikeouts.