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Rodriguez drives in four after birth of fourth child

ST. PETERSBURG -- After being reinstated from the paternity list on Friday, Sean Rodriguez celebrated the birth of his son by hitting a three-run homer and driving in four in an 8-1 victory over the Rangers at Tropicana Field.

Rodriguez, who homered in the third inning and was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the first, tied his career high with four RBIs.

"It's been great with the birth of my son, and getting a W topped off a great day," Rodriguez said.

On Thursday, Rodriguez and his wife, Gisele, welcomed to the world their son, Zekiel Cruz, who was born at 12:47 p.m. at Bayfront Baby Place.

"Delivery went great," Rodriguez said before the game. "Giselle was a little bit in pain early on, but I guess having a couple made the delivery a lot less time-consuming, but it went well. She's strong."

Zekiel weighed in at 9 pounds and 24-1/4 inches tall. He is the couple's fourth child.

"I definitely got my infield, first to third," Rodriguez said. "I'm pretty sure we're done though. We talked about that, hopefully we can keep it that way."

While Rodriguez was away from the team, he managed to watch the game on TV.

"I missed being able to be there," Rodriguez said. "It's a different view on TV as opposed to being out there."

As for watching the birth?

"I would say each kid brings its own uniqueness and genuineness," Rodriguez said. "A lot of the same things go over. Everything had its own uniqueness I'd say."

Daniel Murphy of the Mets was criticized this week by New York sports talk radio personalities Mike Francesa and Boomer Esiason because Murphy missed two games over three days due to the birth of his son, which caused a storm of opinions weighing in on the subject.

Joe Maddon noted he's all for players taking off for significant moments, like a child being born. In addition to the significance of being present at such a moment, the Rays' manager pointed out that not every delivery goes as planned.

"There are potential complications," Maddon said. "Not every child birth is routine."

Bill Chastain is a reporter for
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