Randy Arozarena of the Rays delighted to join 20-20 club and in New York

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NEW YORK – Randy Arozarena made no secret of how badly he wanted to get the 20th steal base needed to join the 20 home run and 20 steal club.

And when he did so in the eighth round of Sunday’s regular season finals, he showed everyone how much that meant, pumping his fist a few times, pointing in the air and responding to the cheers. and the cries of the Rays canoe.

“I feel great and I’m very excited to have been able to (do it),” Arozarena said via team performer Manny Navarro. “It feels good to know that (my teammates are) always there to support me and they also wanted me to steal that 20th bag.”

Arozarena is the third member of the Rays 20-20 club; BJ Upton did it in 2007, 2011 and 2012, and Tommy Pham in 2019.

More impressive still, Arozarena, a 26-year-old Cuban, did so in his first full season in the majors, bolstering his bid for the American League Rookie of the Year award.

Manager Kevin Cash was happy that Arozarena, who hit his 20th home run on Tuesday, also got the robbery.

“I was a little tired of hearing ‘green light, green light’ all the time for him,” Cash said. “I was very happy for him. It’s a whole season, a rookie season.

Arozarena seemed to like to get it in New York, saying he looked forward to coming back next weekend if the Yankees qualified for the Division Series.

“I would be happy to come back… especially to be at Yankee Stadium with all the fans, all the screaming and screaming,” he said. “In fact, I find happiness there. I joke and play with them too.

“I’ve heard that if they don’t talk about garbage then they don’t know who you are. So it’s a good thing they’re talking about. It gives me energy, and it just gives me another reason to play a little harder.

And he noted: “I don’t mind either because a lot of times they will be speaking in English and since I don’t understand them anyway, I don’t care about that.”

The loud noise from the crowd caused communication problems for the Rays, with Arozarena and shortstop Wander Franco colliding in pursuit of a flying ball and having a few words, but Arozarena said they were going ” good”.

Second baseman Brandon Lowe did not add to his total of 39 homers and 99 RBIs as he hoped.

Urshela’s “incredible” play

Yankees ‘Gio Urshela chases a ball hit by Rays’ Austin Meadows for an out in the sixth inning. [ FRANK FRANKLIN II | Associated Press ]

Yankees shortstop Gio Urshela made a remarkable and scary play to finish the sixth, running over 100 feet to catch an Austin Meadows foul a few feet in front of the Rays dugout, then crashing hard in the steps and into the bench. He retained the ball and, after being picked up by several Yankees staff and limping off the field, stayed in the game.

“The game was amazing… maybe the best game of the season,” Cash said. There have been reviews of the Rays on the Yankees TV show and others on social media that they should have tried to stop Urshela from coming down the steps, but Cash said there was nothing they could do. given the speed at which Urshela was moving.

“At that point, it’s really hard to predict that, so whoever debates it is absolutely ridiculous,” he said. Urshela and Yankees officials also had no problem with this.

Collection

⋅ The Rays will be off on Monday, then practice at Tropicana Field on Tuesday and Wednesday in preparation for Thursday’s Division Series opener.

⋅ There will be some tough decisions to put together a roster of 26 players by 10am Thursday, especially for the last places in the reliever box, but Cash said: “I don’t expect anything out of the ordinary . “

⋅ The Rays fell from first place in points scored, finishing second in the majors with 857 vs. 863 for the Astros, but led the AL – and placed fourth in the majors – with a team ERA of 3, 67. They went an AL-best 48-33 on the road.

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