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Speedy Smith makes splash in first game back

Outfielder homers, steals 3 bases after callup from Triple-A to fill in for Kiermaier
MLB.com @wwchastain

ST. PETERSBURG -- Mallex Smith arrived, and he thrived Friday night, igniting the Rays' offense in a 13-4 win over the A's.

"All the guys really contributed," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "I think the most impressive contribution probably came from Mallex; getting things started. We can be a pretty dynamic offense with him performing that way."

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ST. PETERSBURG -- Mallex Smith arrived, and he thrived Friday night, igniting the Rays' offense in a 13-4 win over the A's.

"All the guys really contributed," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "I think the most impressive contribution probably came from Mallex; getting things started. We can be a pretty dynamic offense with him performing that way."

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The Rays recalled Smith for the third time this season after putting center fielder Kevin Kiermaier on the disabled list with a hip fracture.

"Everybody just kind of told me to come in and play my game," Smith said. "It wasn't like a, 'Don't come in and try to do too much.' It was, 'Have fun and come help the team out.'"

Like Kiermaier, Smith's presence hit the Rays' lineup like a case of energy drinks.

Smith started in center field and led off. After walking in his first at-bat, he proceeded to steal second and third before scoring on Steven Souza Jr.'s home run.

In Smith's second at-bat, he singled and again stole second base.

Smith added a two-run homer in his third at-bat.

"I know he's not going to hit a home run every night and get on base every time, but I just liked the way he approached his at-bats," Cash said. "It was pretty impressive, so that's great to see."

Smith's performance put him in some elite company. Carl Crawford is the only other Tampa Bay player to have at least three stolen bases and a home run in the same game. Crawford did it on May 24, 2006, at Toronto.

Cleveland's Jose Ramirez was the last Major Leaguer to do it, which he did on Aug. 12, 2016.

"I know speed is one of my biggest attributes," Smith said. "But I know I can play the game in so many different other ways. And I do pride myself on that. And I just like to show off my game whenever I can, all of it."

Cash told reporters Smith needed to be ready to play in both games of Saturday's doubleheader. Smith smiled when told of his manager's comments, and asked if he was ready.

"Yes, I've got to [be ready]," Smith said. "This is what you sign up for."

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2004.

Tampa Bay Rays, Mallex Smith