ARLINGTON, Texas – Hours after slugging his way into World Series history, Randy Arozarena stumbled into October lore.
Is there anything this rookie can't do?
The winning run the Cuban sensation scored in a frenetic ninth inning will have fans talking for years after the Tampa Bay Rays stunned the Los Angeles Dodgers 8-7 Saturday night, tying the matchup at two games apiece.
“Randy’s not used to having to run like that. Normally he’s just trotting,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said.
Those same folks might want to remember that much earlier, the 25-year-old outfielder passed Barry Bonds among others for the most home runs in a single postseason. He then joined the top of the list for hits as well.
Arozarena's solo homer leading off the fourth opened the scoring for the Rays and was his ninth of the postseason, and sent him past the previous record of eight shared by Bonds (2002, San Francisco), Carlos Beltran (2005, Houston) and Nelson Cruz (2011, Texas).
None of those three won the World Series. But Arozarena and the Rays are even with the Dodgers and guaranteed to go deeper in this World Series than in the franchise's only other appearance, a five-game loss to Philadelphia in 2008.
“It feels really good to be able to break the record and be on top of that record board,” Arozarena said through a translator. “But the most important thing is that we got the win and we came out victorious in such a tough game like today.”