The Tampa Bay Rays got off to a fast start in Game 1 of the American League Division Series against the Chicago White Sox, behind two record-setting home runs by rookie phenom Evan Longoria. The Rays prevailed, 6-4.
Longoria, who began this season in Durham (albeit briefly), became the first rookie to hit two home runs in his first two post-season at-bats. The only other, non-rookie, player to accomplish the feat? Minnesota’s Gary Gaetti, who is now the Bulls’ batting coach.
Earlier today, the Rays announced their 25-man post-season roster. Most of the lineup consists of season-long big leaguers, but two players who who were called up from Durham last month were named to the roster: Fernando Perez and the smoking hot pitching ace David Price.
On the Tampa Bay Rays official team site, team manager Joe Maddon explains that Price, unsurprisingly, will be used in long relief and extra innings. His plans for Perez, however, are more unexpected:
Maddon said his main focus when making out postseason lineups will be to try to make sure the Rays have their best defensive team on the field. Thus, Perez, who is a switch-hitter, could get his first postseason start on Friday when left-hander Mark Buehrle starts for the White Sox. Under that scenario, Baldelli would be the DH.