ARLINGTON, TEXAS – Randy Arozarena did not want to be tied with Corey Seager for very long.
Arozarena, the electric Rays rookie from Cuba, set a major league record with his ninth homer of the postseason, one inning after Seager, the Dodgers star shortstop, matched him with his eighth blast during Saturday night's Game 4 of the World Series.
Arozarena, who already has the rookie record for hits in a single postseason, drove Los Angeles Julio Urias' first pitch of the fourth inning over the wall in right-center for Tampa Bay's first run.
Arozarena was tied with Seager, Barry Bonds (San Francisco, 2002), Carlos Beltran (Houston, 2004) and Nelson Cruz (Texas, 2011) for homers in a postseason.
Seager, the National League Championship Series MVP, launched a 2-2 curve from Tampa Bay starter Ryan Yarbrough to right field with two outs in the top of the third, giving Los Angeles a 2-0 lead. It was Seager's second home run of this World Series.
Justin Turner also homered off Yarbrough with two outs in the first, making the Los Angeles third baseman the first player to hit a first-inning home run in consecutive World Series games.
Turner is only the third player with two first-inning homers in one Series, joining the Dodgers' Mickey Hatcher in 1988 Games 1 and 5, and Houston's Alex Bregman last year in Games 2 and 6.
Dan Johnson threw out the ceremonial first pitch, although the former Rays hero did it via video from the Blaine Baseball Complex.
"I'm so honored to throw out this first pitch in the World Series," Johnson said on the video, which was made available on Twitter by @BlaineBaseball.
Johnson played in only 81 regular-season games with Tampa Bay, but the Blaine High School product is fondly remembered by fans for his critical home runs during the Rays' playoff seasons of 2008 and '11.
That's a stretch
Ji-Man Choi focused on getting more flexible after dealing with some injuries in the minor leagues. Now the 6-1, 260-pound Rays first baseman is doing full splits in the World Series.
Tampa Bay fans have seen the Ji-Man stretches, but there is a much bigger audience for the World Series, where the South Korean did a full split to take the throw from shortstop Willy Adames for the first out in Game 3 on a grounder by Dodgers leadoff hitter Mookie Betts.
"I try my best to just grab the ball at the earliest point possible. More practice with that helped me with my flexibility," Choi said through a translator Saturday.
Plus the fact that, he said, he has been doing Pilates for about two years.
"Ji-Man was talking about his Pilates … yeah, he looks like a gymnast. He's built like one," manager Kevin Cash said, with a smile.