The Tampa Bay Rays scored five runs in the fourth inning and six in the eighth as they beat the New York Mets, 12-5. Randy Arozarena and Yandy Diaz each had three hits for Tampa Bay.
The Tampa Bay Rays claimed the series over the New York Yankees on Thursday evening with a 9-1 victory. Austin Meadows and Randy Arozarena led the Rays offensively, each contributing a home run at Tropicana Field.
Welcome to the first edition of theScore's 2021 MLB Rookie of the Year rankings. It's early yet, but there's never a bad time to take a peek at which first-year players are already impressing.American League5. Adolis Garcia, Rangers Icon Sportswire / Icon Sportswire / Getty GP HR RBI AVG/OBP/SLG fWAR 19 5 14 .233/.278/.479 0.5 Garcia, who's struck out in 32% of his plate appearances while walking 5.3% of the time, is a bit of a free swinger. But when he's made contact, he's done damage. The Rangers rookie is one of three first-year players with five home runs and is among the leaders in RBIs.4. Garrett Whitlock, Red Sox Maddie Meyer / Getty Images Sport / Getty IP K ERA WHIP fWAR 14.1 19 0.63 0.70 0.5 What a find. The Red Sox selected Whitlock from Yankees in the most recent Rule 5 draft, and if he maintains his current play, he'll have earned his spot on the roster for the duration of the 2021 campaign and beyond. What's more, he's not a typical reliever; he's been deployed for multiple innings at a time in most of his appearances. He's a bullpen arm for now, but there's a chance he becomes a fixture in Boston's rotation down the road.3. Emmanuel Clase, Indians Icon Sportswire / Icon Sportswire / Getty IP K ERA WHIP fWAR 12.1 13 0.00 0.97 0.4 The Indians have given Clase the ninth-inning reins, and he hasn't looked back. The 23-year-old has yet to allow a run after throwing his most recent scoreless frame Sunday against the division-rival White Sox. He and fellow right-hander James Karinchak have combined to hold opponents off the scoreboard over 24 innings, forming a formidable late-inning combo for Cleveland.2. Michael Kopech, White Sox Ron Vesely / Getty Images Sport / Getty IP K ERA WHIP fWAR 18.2 30 1.45 0.64 0.9 Kopech entered the year as a reliever, but he's made a couple of starts for the White Sox due to injuries. Whatever the role, Kopech has shown why he's been so highly touted for what feels like forever. He struck out 10 Rangers batters without issuing a walk over five innings of one-run ball in his most dominant showing thus far.1. Yermin Mercedes, White Sox Ron Vesely / Getty Images Sport / Getty GP HR RBI AVG/OBP/SLG fWAR 23 5 16 .395/.435/.628 1.0 Almost every year, a rookie seemingly comes out of nowhere to take the league by storm. So far, that mantle belongs to Mercedes, who kicked off the season with hits in eight straight at-bats for the White Sox. He's helped fill the void left by injured outfielder Eloy Jimenez, and it's not a lock that he's due for a fall. Mercedes consistently hit well in the minors, culminating in a .317/.388/.581 slash line with 23 homers in a 2019 season split between Double- and Triple-A.Honorable mentions: Randy Arozarena, Rays; Cole Irvin, A's; Nick Madrigal, White Sox; Andrew Vaughn, White Sox; Akil Baddoo, TigersNational League5. Dom Nunez, Rockies Christian Petersen / Getty Images Sport / Getty GP HR RBI AVG/OBP/SLG fWAR 18 5 15 .222/.311/.611 0.5 Nunez has taken hold of the Rockies' starting job at catcher and is tied for the MLB lead in home runs by qualified rookies. The 26-year-old's .923 OPS is second among first-year NL players behind only injured Marlins infielder Jazz Chisholm Jr. Nunez mashed his first career grand slam Saturday, and his power has so far made his 41% strikeout rate a little easier to swallow.4. Ian Anderson, Braves Icon Sportswire / Icon Sportswire / Getty IP K ERA WHIP fWAR 33 36 3.27 1.21 0.5 A rough outing Sunday against the Blue Jays prevented Anderson from climbing the ladder. The Braves righty allowed four runs on six hits while walking two and striking out five over four innings in his shortest start of the season. It was a slight step down from consecutive scoreless outings against the Yankees and Cubs, the latter of which saw him allow only two baserunners over seven innings.3. Dylan Carlson, Cardinals Icon Sportswire / Icon Sportswire / Getty GP HR RBI AVG/OBP/SLG fWAR 28 3 13 .265/.348/.469 0.7 Carlson was the Cardinals' best on-base threat in April, quickly washing away any lingering aftertaste from his underwhelming debut last summer. The power hasn't consistently emerged, but the switch-hitter already showcases excellent patience at the plate and has earned his promotion to the upper third of St. Louis' batting lineup.2. Trevor Rogers, Marlins Will Newton / Getty Images Sport / Getty IP K ERA WHIP fWAR 33 44 1.91 1.06 1.0 A three-run home run off the bat of Ryan Zimmerman spoiled what was otherwise another impressive outing for Rogers on Sunday. The 23-year-old southpaw still struck out six Nationals hitters over five innings and had allowed just two earned runs over his previous four starts, three of which were of the scoreless variety. With fellow rookie hurler Sixto Sanchez on the shelf, Rogers has more than filled the void in the Marlins' rotation.1. Jazz Chisholm Jr., Marlins Michael Reaves / Getty Images Sport / Getty GP HR SB AVG/OBP/SLG fWAR 22 4 7 .290/.375/.551 1.1 He's fast, he's brash, and he's incredibly fun to watch. Chisholm may be on the IL, but that doesn't change how exciting and productive the speedy infielder was before straining his hamstring. Stolen bases are becoming increasingly rare, but Chisholm has showcased an ability to run wild while also flexing his muscle, and a 30-30 season seems to be within his grasp. If he doesn't miss too much time, he could still run all the way to the NL's top rookie prize.Honorable mentions: Tyler Stephenson, Reds; Tyrone Taylor, Brewers; Nick Maton, Phillies; Pavin Smith, D-Backs; Huascar Ynoa, BravesCopyright © 2021 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.
Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Kevin Kiermaier said he ran in front of teammate Randy Arozarena to make a catch on Tuesday because he had a better chance to make a play at home.Kiermaier ran 109 feet on the fly ball by Oakland Athletics slugger Mitch Moreland but was unable to throw out the runner at home. Moreland for the lead #RiseAndGrind pic.twitter.com/alKHVxvpED Oakland A's (@Athletics) April 28, 2021 "I'm in a unique position with what my defensive skill set is, and I'll never shy away from that. I believe I'm the best defensive outfielder in the game," Kiermaier said postgame, according to Adam Berry of MLB.com. "I'd put my talents up with anyone, and I'm very confident in saying that."On the play, I always tell my outfielders - especially when there's a sac fly situation - I tell them, 'Hey, if I can get to this area, I'm throwing.' ... And that play right there, Mitch Moreland had enough height on it where I knew right away, I could get behind it and work my momentum back towards the plate."Kiermaier, who owns three Gold Gloves, acknowledged that Arozarena probably wasn't happy about the decision."I can't sit here and assume, because I haven't talked to him, but it's gonna be a tough convo because he might not see eye-to-eye about it forever," Kiermaier said. "And I can plead my case. He can plead his. My arm feels really good, feels really powerful."Arozarena didn't comment on the play but looked visibly upset on the field after it happened. Randy hated KK taking that catch & throw... #raysup @TKras pic.twitter.com/mKIkovSnI3 (@ZacOnTheMic) April 28, 2021 Copyright © 2021 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.