By Juan Páez
For the Cuban Navy, the Major League Baseball 2021 Postseason Division Series began with everything on Thursday. In the early hours, Yordan Álvarez was the offensive star of the Houston Astros in the 6-for-1 victory against the Chicago White Sox. In the second game of the day, the Tampa Bay Rays subdued the Boston Red Sox 5 × 0 with the help of Randy Arozarena. Both Cuban stars blew the wall.
Starting with the victory of the sidereal, Alvarez He hit a double (1) and a 411-foot long solo homer (1), marking Houston’s final run in the series opener against the Whitelegs. In all, Yordan drove in a pair of streaks (2), scored twice, walked and downed a chocolate (.667).
Teammate Yulieski Gurriel was unlucky and struck out in three of his four official at-bats, all blank (.000).
That encounter represented a record for the most Cubans in play in a postseason game, as José Abreu, Yasmani Grandal, Yoán Moncada and Luis Robert were in action for Chicago. The previous high mark for more Antilleans by both clubs in a single game was four, a figure first achieved in 1965 and replicated last year with the series between the Astros and Rays. This time, six islanders converged on the ground.
For the White Sox, Abreu and Robert were the only two players to hit more than one hit. Pito released a couple of singles in four legal starts to the box and drove the only line of the Whitelegs (1) (.500); Robert also had two hits, but in three trips to the batter’s box (.667) and was hit by a pitch from Lance McCullers Jr. As for Moncada, he went 3-1, with a walk (.333), while that Grandal went blank on four official occasions, with a fan (.000).
Is Arozarena the new Mr. October? For you to think about your answer, we will tell you what Randy did this Thursday as Tampa Bay’s leadoff hitter. In two valid chances, he hit his first homer of this postseason and the eleventh of his career in the October party, the maximum amount for Cuban players. To make matters worse, he scored three times and took two passports (.500).
But best of all, Arozarena surprised everyone in the seventh inning with an unexpected steal from home. Thus Arozarena began the playoff with the right foot, as he became the first player in the history of the Big Top to homer and cheat the home plate in the same game.
His teammate Yandy Diaz also contributed to the victory of the Rays, also supported by a great rookie work of rookie Shane McClanahan and a home run by Nelson Cruz. As for Díaz, he went 3-1, with a single RBI (1) and a passport received (.333).
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