KANSAS CITY -- It's been a season of firsts for catcher Kelly Shoppach.
Last month, in the Red Sox' home opener, he recorded his first stolen base -- with great comic effect, going into a slide way before he reached the second base bag, providing some comic fodder for his teammates.
On Monday night, he added another milestone -- his first career triple. It came in the fourth when Kansas City left fielder Alex Gordon backed up against the fence in left and couldn't hold onto Shoppach's long fly ball.
Shoppach raced to third and, after 1,525 career plate appearances, had his first three-bagger in the big leagues. Until Monday night, he had the fourth-most plate appearances for any major leaguer ever without a triple, including the most by an active player.
"It shouldn't be mathematically possible for me to run that far," joked the catcher. "I thought he was going to catch it. It was fun."
Shoppach said he knew "for a fact that I didn't (hit a triple) in college. I don't recall any in high school. Little League is too far away to really remember. Never as a professional, for sure."
Actually, Shoppach's memory failed him there. He had three in the minor leagues -- including two in one season.
But that didn't take away from the achievement.
"Now I have all the (statistical) columns filled -- except caught stealing," he said.