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Arozarena amazes: 'No words to describe it'

Rays' rookie homers in 3rd straight, now 12-for-20 in postseason
@juanctoribio
October 8, 2020

After Randy Arozarena’s unbelievable start to the postseason, Tyler Glasnow called him “the best baseball player on earth right now.” Austin Meadows joked that he needs to follow Arozarena around to find out his secret. The Rays might be on to something.

After Randy Arozarena’s unbelievable start to the postseason, Tyler Glasnow called him “the best baseball player on earth right now.” Austin Meadows joked that he needs to follow Arozarena around to find out his secret.

The Rays might be on to something.

Game Date Result Highlights
Gm 1 Oct. 5 NYY 9, TB 3 Watch
Gm 2 Oct. 6 TB 7, NYY 5 Watch
Gm 3 Oct. 7 TB 8, NYY 4 Watch
Gm 4 Oct. 8 NYY 5, TB 1 Watch
Gm 5 Oct. 9 TB 2, NYY 1 Watch

Arozarena continued his postseason dominance in the Rays' 8-4 victory over the Yankees in Game 3 of the American League Division Series, smacking a solo home run in the fifth inning off starter Masahiro Tanaka on Wednesday night at Petco Park.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Rays starter Charlie Morton. “Honestly, there are no words to describe it. It’s incredible.”

The 25-year-old Cuban outfielder has hit a home run in all three games against the Yankees in the ALDS, joining Evan Longoria (four in 2008) and Carlos Peña (three in 2008) as the only Rays to homer in three straight postseason games.

"What he's done has just been incredible," Joey Wendle said. "We were joking around saying that [Rays manager Kevin Cash] is his toughest at-bat in batting practice, because he struggles a little more there than he does in a game."

With his 3-for-4 night, Arozarena is now 12-for-20 with three home runs and six extra-base hits in five postseason games. His 12 hits through the team’s five postseason games are the most in franchise history and tied for second-most by any player in Major League history. Giants first baseman Will Clark set the record with 13 in 1989, while Arozarena tied Ichiro Suzuki, who had 12 hits with the Mariners in 2001.

“He’s the best player on the planet, he’s incredible,” Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier said, with a smile. “I think we can all take a page out of his book and what his routine is and how he comes to the field each and every day. He just doesn’t think up there. He’s just so raw in every facet of his game, and he goes out there and just does it night in and night out, it’s incredible.”

A 3-run HR in ALDS G3? Kiermaier's specialty

Those are just some of the records Arozarena is setting. He became the first Rays player to have multiple hits in four consecutive postseason games. His 25 total bases are the most by any player in his first five games of a single postseason in Major League history.

Arozarena is also the first rookie to homer in three straight postseason games since Cubs outfielder Kyle Schwarber in 2015 and since Longoria hit a homer in four consecutive games during the Rays’ magical 2008 run.

“He’s got a good approach and he’s sticking to it,” said Yankees catcher Kyle Higashioka. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen before where a guy punishes every single mistake. We can’t get away with anything against him right now, so it’s been pretty frustrating.”

If Arozarena -- ranked as Tampa Bay's No. 19 prospect -- has another three-hit game during the postseason, which could come if he continues to prepare with his “power” cowboy boots, he would join Jose Altuve, Albert Pujols, Edgar Martínez and Jay Buhner as the only players to record three or more hits in four games during a single postseason.

“There’s no way to describe him,” said Rays catcher Michael Perez. “I think he would hit the ball with his eyes closed, honestly. He’s from another planet.”

Juan Toribio covers the Rays for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @juanctoribio.