2021 American League Division Series: Arozarena the star as Rays blank Red Sox in Game 1
Photo: Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Rays showed why they're the best team in the American League with a convincing 5-0 victory over the Boston Red Sox in Game 1 of the American League Division Series at Tropicana Field.

Randy Arozarena, after an electric playoff debut in 2020, made history this year, becoming the first player to ever hit a home run and steal home in the same playoff game. Shane McClanahan pitched five scoreless innings for the Rays.

Tampa Bay jumps out quickly on Boston

Boston threatened immediately as Kyle Schwarber singled and stole second with one out, but McClanahan escaped the jam. Arozarena singled in the bottom of the first and Wander Franco drove him home with a double to make it 1-0. He scored on a single by Yandy Diaz to double the lead.

Former Ray Hunter Renfroe singled in the top of the third and an error by Ryan Lowe on a ground ball off the bat of Alex Verdugo put two men on. A double play helped get the rookie through the inning. 

Nelson Cruz was awarded a homer when he hit one off of the C-Ring roof which by stadium ground rules is a long ball, so the score was now 3-0. Rafael Devers and Verdugo singled in the fourth, but were left stranded.

Arozarena took over from there. He blasted a solo shot in the fifth to make it 4-0 and after a single in the seventh he moved to third on a double by Franco and subsequently stole home to cap off the scoring.

Embed from Getty Images

Boston had one last threat as they loaded the bases in the eighth against JP Feyreisen on singles by Christian Arroyo, Schwarber and Xander Bogaerts, but Feyereisen struck out Devers and got the third out and he wrapped things up by pitching a scoreless ninth.

Game 2 starters

Boston will look to even up the series when they send Chris Sale to the mound. Tampa Bay counters with Shane Baz, making just his third career start. 

Coverage begins at 7:02pm Eastern time on Fox Sports 1. Joe Davis is the play-by-play announcer, John Smoltz will be the analyst and Ken Rosenthal is the on-field reporter.