Avisail Garcia breaks open game with bases-loaded triple
Avisail Garcia was expected to spend most of this season racking up hits at Triple-A Toledo, but since the rookie got called up two weeks ago, he’s perfectly fine doing that in Detroit, as well.
He got his first career home run on May 15, and added his first triple on Sunday, a pinch-hit, bases-loaded shot to the gap in left-center field that broke open a 3-1 game in the sixth inning.
“It’s pretty amazing, because that’s the first time I got the feeling like bases loaded and then I hit a triple. … I was thinking triple, triple, run fast, fast, fast,” Garcia said. “That’s what I got. Thank God for that.”
Garcia had been keeping loose by swinging in the cage for a few innings, then was called upon to pinch hit for Don Kelly, when Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire brought in lefty reliever Caleb Thielbar.
The last three-run, pinch-hit triple by a Tigers player was from Rick Leach on Sept. 29, 1981, vs. Baltimore, nearly 10 years before Garcia was born.
“That’s amazing,” he said. “I was on the bench watching the game, and then pinch hit, and then a triple with the bases loaded. That’s amazing.”
Garcia spent 23 games with the Tigers at the end of the 2012 regular season, but didn’t get his first extra-base hit until the American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees, a double that helped break open the series-clinching Game 4.
“He’s young. He’s done OK. He’s hit a home run up here now and got the big extra-base hit today, which he hasn’t really gotten many extra-base hits. But he’s doing fine. He’s doing fine,” manager Jim Leyland said. “Like I said, we’d prefer to have him down there (at Triple-A) getting 500 at-bats because he’s such a great prospect. … He’s got a lot of talent, but he needs to play.”