Giants take over Major League triples lead

Giants take over Major League triples lead

PHOENIX -- It's not the most significant development in the baseball world, but it does reflect something positive: The Giants pulled into the Major League lead in triples while winning the final two games of their previous series at Colorado.

Angel Pagan, Gregor Blanco and Hunter Pence each tripled to hike San Francisco's total to 50, eclipsing Colorado's 47. The American League leader in triples is Detroit, with 36. So if the Giants can fend off Colorado in this category -- no other National League club entered Friday with more than 40 triples -- they'll lead the Majors in three-base hits for the first time since 1973.

Though Pagan began Friday with a team-high 12 triples, tying Willie Mays (1960) and Steve Finley (2006) for the franchise's highest single-season total since it moved to San Francisco in 1958, the Giants' sources have been balanced. Melky Cabrera hit 10 triples before departing; Joaquin Arias, Brandon Belt and Blanco each have five.

Similarly, the 1973 club received 10 triples apiece from the equally fleet Gary Matthews and Garry Maddox, who were both playing their first full Major League seasons. Tito Fuentes had five triples, while fellow regulars Dave Rader, Chris Speier and Bobby Bonds totaled four each. Though Bonds' total might seem surprisingly low, that happened to be the season in which he hit a career-high 39 homers.

Reserves Gary Thomasson and Mike Phillips tripled four times each. Phillips collected his in only 112 plate appearances. And future Hall of Famer Willie McCovey, sore knees and all, legged out three triples.