Since acquiring Sean Rodriguez back in August, we've speculated on his power potential a few times (here, here, here, and here). More recently, I speculated the following about Rodriguez making a name for himself in the Tampa Bay area...
If things go as planned (or at least my plans), Rodriguez's play will make his name for him. As for now, it's a wonderful little secret to have.
Well our little secret may be out...
Rodriguez hit his third home run in as many games and finished a single short of the cycle in Today's 12-7 victory over the New York Yankees. Starting in left field a day after starting at shortstop, Rodriguez belted a first inning home run of Yankee starter Phil Hughes. He would add a triple and a single before calling it a day. Of course these home runs don't count, but it's nice to see the power we've talked about in real life. Other offensive stars included shortstops Jason Bartlett and Reid Brignac, who each went 2-3 with a triple and two RBI.
David Price took the mound for his 2010 debut and lasted 1.2 innings allowing two hits and a walk, but no runs. Price struck out two batters, but ran into trouble in the second inning and was shut down after 42 pitches (26 strikes). He was relieved by all-world prospect Jeremy Hellickson.
Like Price and Wade Davis before him, Hellickson participated in the annual baptism by fire against the Yankees. Hellickson delievered by escaping not one, but two jams, and allowed just one hit over 1.1 innings while striking out Derek Jeter and Mark Teixiera. Carlos Hernandez followed with three innings and pounded the ground with seven ground ball outs. Mike Ekstrom and R.J. Swindle nearly blew the game late, but the Rays held on for the victory. Swindle left the game with an oblique strain; however there is no timetable for his return.
Real or not, any victory over the Yankees means it was a good day.