Back-to-back homers and bases-loaded triples

Back-to-back home runs are relatively rare.

The Cubs have played 21,809 regular-season games since 1876, first year of the National League.

They have hit back-to-back homers 363 times, including the 3 times they did it Friday, Saturday and Sunday against the Diamondbacks -- the first time they ever did it 3 straight days.

That 363 number includes 11 times they hit 3 homers in a row in a game.


3-run triples are even rarer.

PJ Higgins' bases-clearing triple Sunday was only the Cubs' 125th since 1915, the first season for which has play-by-play data.

It was their first since Kyle Schwarber did it against the Mariners on Sept. 2, 2019.


So it may come as a surprise that there had been games before Sunday in which the Cubs produced both back-to-back homers and a bases-loaded triple.

Two of them, in fact.

In one of them, the same batter hit the triple and one of the homers!



On Monday, July 3, 1967, the Cubs began a 4-game series at Atlanta.

Paul Popovich opened the game with a single off Tony Cloninger. After Glenn Beckert walked, Billy Williams homered.

Then Ron Santo homered, too, knocking out Cloninger.

The Cubs added 2 more runs later in the inning on a homer by Randy Hundley.

The score was 9-4 when the Cubs came to bat in the seventh.

Lee Thomas singled and went to third on a double by Al Spangler. The runners held as Hundley grounded to reliever Clay Carroll, then Ted Savage was walked intentionally, loading the bases.

John Stephenson pinch hit for Cubs starter Ray Culp and smacked the ball to deep center for a 3-run triple.

The Cubs won the game, 12-6.



On Sunday, June 10, 1979, the Cubs and Dodgers played the rubber game of a series at Wrigley Field.

Dave Kingman rapped a 2-out RBI single in the first.

Bill Buckner did the same in the third, making the score 2-0.

It was still 2-0 when Barry Foote drew a walk to begin the Cubs' fifth. Rick Reuschel laid down a bunt that was bobbled by pitcher Don Sutton, and both runners were safe. An infield tap by Ivan deJesus then loaded the bases.

Ted Sizemore fouled out, but Buckner tripled.

A walk and a single knocked out Sutton, and by the end of the inning the Cubs were on top, 7-0.

After the Dodgers got a run in the top of the sixth, Steve Dillard doubled for the Cubs, went to third on a groundout by de Jesus, and came home on a fly ball by


That brought up Buckner, who homered to deep right.

Moments later, Kingman homered to deep left, making the score 10-1.

The Cubs eventually won, 10-3.



Higgins yesterday became only the 6th catcher to hit a bases-loaded triple for the Cubs since 1915.

Here are the previous ones:

Ken O'Dea, vs. Braves, June 12, 1936

Gabby Hartnett, vs. Giants, Sept. 21, 1937

Rube Walker, at Boston, June 12, 1949

Paul Bako, at Cincinnati, April 5, 2003

Damian Miller, vs. Padres, April 22, 2003


That's right: 2 of the previous 5 came in the same season, just 17 days apart.

After Hartnett did it, in 1937, until Bako did it, in 2003, the Cubs played 10,249 games, in only 1 of which a catcher hit a bases-loaded triple.

They played 8,483 games after Walker's triple in 1949 until Bako's.



Higgins became the 102nd different Cub to hit a bases-loaded triple. Sammy Sosa did it 4 times; Augie Galan, Ray Grimes and Ryne Sandberg, 3.

Galan's second, vs. Phillies on June 18, 1937, was only one that was walk-off. It came with 1 out and Cubs behind, 7-5.



Here's a quartet:

Cubs who have hit a bases-loaded triple in the bottom of the second inning:

1. Hack Wilson, 1928

2. Ivan de Jesus, 1979

3. Chris Coghlan, 2014

4. PJ Higgins, 2022

They have had 5 such triples in the top of the second, for a total of 9 in the inning.

That is the fewest in any before the ninth, in which they have had 7. The most they have had in any inning is 20, in the fifth.

They have had 4 in extra innings: by Cliff Heathcote (10th, in 1922), Otto Vogel (12th, in 1923), Mike Vail (12th, in 1980) and Randy Jackson (13th, in 1955).

Jackson's broke a tie. In each the 3 others, the Cubs already had taken the lead.



Higgins' was the 33rd to break a tie, and the 15th with the score 0-0.

It was the 59th with 2 out, and the 9th with 2 out and the score 0-0.

The last player to do it with 2 out and no score was Chris Coghlan, in the top of the second inning, at Pittsburgh on Sept. 27, 2016.



Only 7 previous Cubs had hit a bases-loaded triple while batting ninth in the order.

Four of them were pitchers: Paul Carter and Hippo Vaughn, both in 1920; Vic Aldridge, in 1922; and Ferguson Jenkins, in 1969.

Harry Chiti, in 1956, was a pinch hitter, as was Stephenson, in 1967.

And then there was Kevin Roberson, the last Cub in the No. 9 slot to turn the trick, at Philadelphia on Sept. 8, 1993.

Roberson batted for reliever Greg Hibbard to open the eighth inning, with the Cubs behind, 5-1. He struck out.

After a second out, the Cubs turned 3 singles, 2 walks and 2 more singles into 4 runs, tying the score and bringing up Roberson again, who slammed the go-ahead triple.

That hit is officially recorded as "other" in his career splits.

It was the only triple of Roberson's 4-year, 165-game big league career. In 138 games over 3 seasons as a Cub, he batted .194/.264/.421.

He batted 3 other times with the bases loaded. He flied out to end the inning, hit a 2-run single and grounded into a double play on which a run scored.



No Cub had hit a bases-loaded triple against Arizona until Higgins did it yesterday, in the 170th game between the teams.

They now have hit at least 1 against every other current National League team, including exactly 1 against the Brewers, Marlins and Rockies.

They have hit 19 against the Reds, 18 against the Pirates and no more than 14 against any other opponent.

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