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Rays outfielder Randy Arozarena sets rookie record for most homers in a single postseason

USA TODAY SPORTS logo USA TODAY SPORTS 10/18/2020 Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY
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SAN DIEGO -- Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Randy Arozarena is making this postseason his own personal showcase, putting himself in the record books Saturday night with his seventh home run, the most by a rookie in Major League Baseball history.

a baseball player holding a bat on a field: Randy Arozarena celebrates his two-run home run in the first inning. © Orlando Ramirez, USA TODAY Sports Randy Arozarena celebrates his two-run home run in the first inning.

Arozarena, who wasn’t even called up to the big leagues until Aug. 30, set the record on a 97-mph fastball from Houston Astros starter Lance McCullers, who could only helplessly watch it fly over the center-field fence.

Arozarena couldn’t help but admire the homer himself, carrying his bat nearly all of the way to first base, and then flinging it towards the Rays’ dugout.

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“It’s unbelievable,’’ Rays manager Kevin Cash said aloud and captured by the TBS telecast. “Every darned night.’’

It was just the latest chapter in his exploits this postseason, where he leads everyone with 21 hits, 14 runs, 11 extra-base hits and 47 total bases this postseason. The only rookie who has produced more hits is New York Yankees great Derek Jeter with 22.

And his .839 slugging percentage is currently the best in baseball postseason history with players having at least 50 plate appearances.

“I try not to pay attention to the statistics’’ said Arozarena, “but with the internet and everyone bringing it up, you’re kind of aware of it. Honestly, I don’t pay attention to the statistics outside of me and what I can control.’’

Well, certainly everyone else is paying plenty of attention, with the Astros becoming the latest team to be victimized by the Great Randino.

He has as many home runs this postseason as any Cardinals’ player produced the entire season. Certainly, the Cardinals didn’t envision this when they traded him last winter, and to be honest, the Rays can’t honestly say they ever imagined he’d be carrying the team on his back.

“He’s a dangerous man,’’ Baker said. “I keep saying he can’t do it again, and he does it again.’’

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Rays outfielder Randy Arozarena sets rookie record for most homers in a single postseason

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