Threes are wild for CC: Yankees turn another triple play for ace

CC Sabathia (52) is congratulated by teammates after the defense turned a triple play in the second inning.

Kim Klement/Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

CC Sabathia should buy a Powerball ticket … since it’s too late to fill out Warren Buffet’s win-a-billion NCAA tournament bracket.

The left-hander was on the mound when the Yankees turned a triple play in New York’s 10-2 win vs. the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Thursday.

But get this:

It’s the third time the Yankees turned a triple play with Sabathia on the hill. Forget a double play being a pitcher’s best friend, huh?

Thursday’s triple play was the traditional 5-4-3 combo. With Rays on first and second, Tampa Bay’s Sean Rodriguez hit a hard grounder to third. New York’s Yangervis Solarte came up with it, stepped on third and threw to second baseman Brian Roberts for the force out. Roberts then one-hopped a throw to Scott Sizemore, who was playing first base the first time in his professional seven-year career (658 games, including the minors).

AROUND THE HORN

Sizemore scooped the throw for the third out — and the Yankees’ third triple play when Sabathia is pitching.

On April 12, 2013, with Sabathia on the bump, the Yankees turned a 4-6-5-6-5-3-4 triple play vs. the Orioles. The first Yankees-Sabathia TP occurred on April 22, 2010 — of the 5-4-3 variety — vs. the A’s. It was the game best remembered for Oakland pitcher Dallas Braden shouting at Alex Rodriguez  to “Get off the mound!”

Other interesting facts about Thursday’s TP:

• It was the Yankees’ 24th triple play in the franchise’s long history.

• It was the second TP hit into by Rodriguez — his first occurred on Aug. 16, 2011 at Boston.

• Tampa Bay has only hit into three triple plays in its short 17-year history.