Lawrence, Blue Jays turn triple play

Dunedin starter erases trouble in first inning en route to win

Dunedin's Casey Lawrence struck out five and lowered his ERA to 3.34. (Cliff Welch/

By Danny Wild / | July 17, 2012 8:13 PM ET

Casey Lawrence did what every other pitcher -- even Roger Clemens -- has dreamed of in a rough first inning: He turned a triple play.

The Dunedin right-hander erased a pair of singles in the first Tuesday, catching a line drive by Rene Tosoni and turning it into a 1-6-3 triple play in Class A Advanced Dunedin's 6-0 win over Fort Myers in the second game of a doubleheader.

Lawrence (6-4), coming off consecutive seven-inning efforts for the D-Jays, allowed back-to-back singles to Daniel Santana and Levi Michael to start the game. Tosoni then banged a liner right back to the right-hander, who spun to shortstop Justin Jackson covering second. Jackson doubled off Santana and fired to first baseman Koby Clemens, getting Michael for the final out.

"Never saw one live or anything, [I'm] pretty ecstatic," Lawrence said. "It was just kind of one of those soft liners and I instinctively caught it and threw it to Justin Jackson at second [base], and as I was turning, I saw the runner off first base a decent amount. So I knew if I got it to Jackson quickly, he'd have a chance, he has a strong arm. He played center field a bit this year."

Lawrence, who started the year in Dunedin but got a brief taste of Double-A New Hampshire in April, held the Miracle to seven hits over six innings without a walk, striking out six for his sixth win. Roger Clemens, the seven-time Cy Young Award winner who spent two seasons with Toronto in his 24-year career, was in attendance in Fort Myers along with his son, Kacy.

Clemens, the son of former Major Leaguer Roger Clemens, then kept the momentum going with a go-ahead two-out homer in the second, his 100th career longball.

"I didn't really know [Roger Clemens] was there until after the triple play. Koby hit his 100th homer and he said his dad was in attendance," Lawrence said. "I got to meet him during Spring Training. Anybody of that degree of character and what he's done in baseball, it's great to see him in attendance."

Lawrence cruised through the next five innings, using a double play in the fifth and a pair of consecutive strikeouts in the sixth to earn his second straight win.

The triple play was the first in the Minors since the Double-A Springfield Cardinals turned one June 13. Triple-A Albuquerque turned one June 1, a day after Triple-A Las Vegas had one. Class A Charleston and Double-A Midland also managed triple plays earlier this season.

Danny Wild is an editor for Robert Emrich of contributed to this report. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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