He executed a straight steal of home.
Arozarena darted to the plate in the seventh inning behind the back of lefty Boston Red Sox reliever Josh Taylor. The sneak attack put the Rays up 5-0 in Game 1 of the ALDS.
It was the first postseason steal of home since Javier Baez in the 2016 NLCS, but that theft was not on a straight steal. The seed of the daring maneuver was likely planted ahead of time, through scouting or observation of Taylor’s tendencies on the mound.
Amazingly, this sort of thing isn’t even that out of the ordinary for the aggressive Rays. Manuel Margot attempted to steal home in Game 5 of the World Series last year against the Los Angeles Dodgers. It didn’t work out as well, but it was still fun.
It’s just the latest episode in an incredible start to Arozarena’s playoff career. Last year, he homered 10 times to power the Rays’ World Series run. That Fall Classic also included Arozarena scampering home to win Game 4 on a chaotic final play.
The moment gave Arozarena another piece of October history.
Randy Arozarena is the 1st player in MLB postseason history to hit a home run and steal home in the same game. pic.twitter.com/kpHZzp3fz7
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 8, 2021
Arozarena, who also walked twice Thursday night, scored three of the Rays’ runs as they took a 1-0 lead in the ALDS. Midseason addition Nelson Cruz added a huge home run of his own that clanged off the Tropicana Field catwalk.
Despite the show he put on in the 2020 postseason, Arozarena remains a rookie for the 2021 campaign and is the favorite to take home AL Rookie of the Year honors.
Source: Yahoo Sports