Dykstra: 'Special' to have dad on hand for first homer
ST. PETERSBURG -- The instant that Allan Dykstra's fourth-inning liner off Adam Warren with two men aboard rang off the right-field foul pole Friday night at Tropicana Field, the Rays took a 3-2 lead.
And Dykstra broke into a trot he'll never forget.
The home run was the first of Dykstra's Major League career, and sitting among the 15,752 in attendance to witness the event was his father, Randy.
"Yeah, that was definitely special. He flew in this morning. He was excited to come see me, since he really hasn't come out that often since I've been on the east coast," said Dykstra -- who grew up in San Diego -- moments after the Rays' 5-4 loss to the Yankees.
"For him to come out and see my first home run tonight was very cool."
Was Dykstra able to make eye contact, or even catch a glimpse of his father's reaction as he circled the bases?
"No. I don't really know where the family section is. I haven't been here long enough to figure that one out," he said smiling.
Dykstra's blast was followed by a solo shot by Logan Forsythe, marking the first time the Rays had hit back-to-back home runs since last September, when Evan Longoria and James Loney went deep against the Orioles.
"It was exciting. For Dykstra, it was his first one. ... Very exciting and a huge one. Lead changed and everyone's high-fiving and then, 'Whack!' Logan hits one," said Rays manager Kevin Cash.
"It brought a lot of energy but that's what this team's done all season," said Cash. "If we're behind, it seems like we claw our way back, and we did it again tonight, but we just didn't come out on top."
Dykstra said the thrill was magnified by the fact that his three-run blast gave the Rays a lead.
"I'm here to help the team win, so in that situation, I was more excited that it put us up," said Dykstra. "I'm sure it will sink in a little bit later, that after all the hard work I put in, it finally paid off in that moment with my first home run."
And a fringe benefit of hitting your first Major League roundtripper off a foul pole? An instantly retrievable souveneir.
"When I walked into the clubhouse after the game and saw the ball sitting on my chair, it was pretty neat," said Dykstra.