Adam Berry
SEATTLE — A few hours before the Rays’ game against the Mariners on Friday night, Randy Arozarena informed the team he’d be better off serving as the designated hitter. His left knee was bothering him two days after he tweaked something in Oakland, so it made more sense for him to DH than spend another chilly night running around in left field.
As it turned out, Arozarena spent a lot of time running around the bases. The reigning American League Rookie of the Year went 4-for-5 with a double, an RBI, two runs and another highlight-reel baserunning moment in the Rays’ 8-7 win at T-Mobile Park.
Clearly, it didn’t affect him on the basepaths. Arozarena has already had an eventful month full of daring adventures — and some misadventures — on the bases, and he added another one to the list to score a key run in the fifth inning Friday night.
Standing at second base after a one-out double, with Brandon Lowe at first base following a walk, Arozarena took off for third on a a 57.6 mph infield dribbler hit by Harold Ramirez. Mariners third baseman Eugenio Suárez scooped up the ball and tried to throw it, well, somewhere — presumably first base — but essentially spiked it into the ground as it slipped from his hand. The ball landed just to the left of the pitcher’s mound and rolled to the right side of the infield.
Scoring from 2nd on an infield hit to tie the game? Yup, that sounds like Randy#FridayNightBaseball | #RaysUp pic.twitter.com/eiL6t59Jvu
Right then, Arozarena knew he had a chance to score — yes, score from second base on a play that began as an infield single.
“At that moment, that's when I knew I could probably make it,” he said through interpreter Manny Navarro.
Seeing what happened and sensing an opportunity to tie the game, Arozarena broke for home. Second baseman Adam Frazier’s throw to catcher Tom Murphy wasn’t quick enough to beat the sliding Arozarena, who slid in safe to tie the game at 4-4. That run represented the second of Tampa Bay’s three comebacks on the night.
“I think it was good baserunning on my part,” Arozarena said. “I always try to stay focused and stay concentrated at any given moment. I knew I had to run hard when I saw that infield hit, and when I saw all the crazy stuff happen, I thought I'd take advantage of it.”
Adding a little bit more madness to an already crazy play, one that forced Murphy from the game with a dislocated shoulder, Lowe tried to take an extra 90 feet and dashed toward third base. But Suárez thwarted his attempt, picking up the ball just in front of the plate and firing it to shortstop J.P. Crawford, who tagged out Lowe.
The call was upheld after a three-minute, 20-second replay review, capping a wild sequence.
“That was a wild play,” Rays manager Kevin Cash remarked.
As for Arozarena’s knee and his need to DH?
“Yeah, he looks healthy,” Cash said. “Might have lied to me before the game.”

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