St. PETERSBURG, Florida (AP) – Randy Arrozarina became the first player to shoot home and steal home in a post-season game, and rookie Shane McClanahan pitched the Tampa Bay Rays to a 5-0 win over the Boston Red Sox in the AL. The Division Series opener Thursday night.
Breakout star in October of last year, Arozarena made a stunning dash to the plate in the seventh inning for his first straight home steal in the post-season since Jackie Robinson did so with the Brooklyn Dodgers against Yogi Berra and New York Yankees in the 1955 World Championship, According to FS1 broadcast.
Nelson Cruz also took a look at McClanahan and cast five star roles for the Rays.
Young Wander Franco also shone in his playoff debut, delivering an early RBI double that 2020 post-season superstar Arozarena scored from first base to send the defending champions off to a fast start.
Arozarena, the 26-year-old Cuban who remains a rookie despite setting a post-season record with 10 players and 29 games in 20 games a year ago, capped off with an exhilarating performance by stealing the home of Boston’s Josh Taylor to claim a 5-0 win in Seventh inning.
This was the first home run in a playoff game since Chicago Cubs’ Javier Baez did it against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game One of the 2016 NLCS Championship.
If Arozarena’s glamorous, crowd-pleasing drama isn’t for the hit of 20-year-old Franco, who was promoted to major in June, McClanahan’s show might be the story of the night.
The 24-year-old left-hander, who made his league debut during Tampa Bay’s run to the world championships last year, scored five hits and netted three goals in his first playoff game.
Cruz, obtained on the trading deadline to add a powerful racket to the midfield line-up, took Homer’s hit in his 18th career post-season to lead 3-0 in the third inning. Arozarena also went deep against right-handed Nick Pevita with the bases empty in fifth for Homer’s 11 in 21 games after the season.
With one of the lowest payrolls in baseball and a roster lacking in family names, the Rays are in the playoffs for the third year in a row after winning a 100-game franchise record and their second consecutive AL East title.
Olympic silver medalist Shane Baz started the season in Class AA and made his Major League debut in late September, and will start Game 2 for the Rays on Friday.
The Red Sox, who beat the New York Yankees at home in the AL Wild Card game to advance to ALDS, will face Chris Seal, who returned from Tommy John’s surgery in mid-August and went 5-1 with a 3.16 ERA. Over nine starts down the sprawl.
Boston leftist Eduardo Rodriguez took the loss in Game 1, allowing him two innings, two hits and two walks in 1 2/3 innings. Pivetta saved manager Alex Cora from having to spend the game by working 4 2/3 runs in relief.
Franco chased Bivita with his second hit into the night, and hitting an opposite field to the left sent Arosarina jogging from first base to third on seventh base. After four pitches, Arosarina took advantage of Taylor’s lack of interest in him and ran home.
The victory continues as the Tampa Bay masters the Red Sox.
The Rays lost four in a row to Boston before winning 11 of the last 15 meetings between the two teams during the regular season. They wasted no time jumping on Rodriguez this time around, using their speed to turn their lead into Arosarina, and Franco’s double to the left of the center and Yande Diaz’s double made the singles a 2-0 lead.
Cruz caught a glimpse of one of the roof-supporting platforms at Tropicana Field, drawing another thunderous applause from the yellow-toweled towel-selling crowd of 27,419 including college basketball TV analyst Dick Vitale, the Rays season ticket holder who kicked the ceremonies out first. Foot.
Franco and Cruz are the two biggest additions to this year’s Tampa Bay offensive, which ranked second on the top with 857 runs. With the short 20-year-old and 41-year-old champ in the lineup, Rays scored 263 points in 43 games.
The duo became the second group of teammates to have each had success in a post-season game when one player was 20 or younger and the other was at least 40. According to ESPN.
Meanwhile, Cruz became the second-oldest player after Homer in the post-season after 43-year-old Julio Franco in 2001.
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