SAN DIEGO – By now, every baseball fan has heard of remarkable rookie Randy Arozarena. They're fast becoming familiar with his World Series-bound Tampa Bay teammates, too.
“You sit here and look at this group of guys, and I always say we don’t have a lot of household names, but at the same time, people are making a name for themselves right now,” outfielder Kevin Kiermaier said.
They kept doing that in Game 7 of the AL Championship Series on Saturday night.
Arozarena homered again, 36-year-old Charlie Morton was brilliant against his former team and the Rays silenced the Houston Astros 4-2 to reach the World Series for just the second time.
The Rays will face either the Los Angeles Dodgers or Atlanta Braves in the World Series in Arlington, Texas, starting Tuesday night. Game 7 of the NLCS is Sunday night.
Right fielder Manuel Margot squeezed Aledmys Diaz’s flyball in his glove for the final out and fireworks burst overhead as the Rays began to celebrate the AL pennant in an NL ballpark, a byproduct of the pandemic-shortened season.
“If you don’t know the name by now, they better learn them, because we’ve we got some boys who can play,” said Kiermaier, the Rays' longest-tenured player.
That would start with Arozarena, who set a rookie record with his seventh home run — a two-run shot in the first — and was chosen ALCS MVP.