Travis d’Arnaud made history at Yankee Stadium on Monday night by becoming the first catcher to hit three home runs in a game out of the leadoff spot, per Elias Sports Bureau. The Lakewood High alum helped the Tampa Bay Rays come back and win 5-4 with all five RBIs and a three-run go-ahead homer in the ninth inning.
“This is the coolest night ever,” d’Arnaud told the Associated Press after the game. “I mean, one and two with the walk-off home run last week, but top two, for sure. As far as regular season goes.”
d’Arnaud, 30, was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies straight out of Lakewood with the 37th overall selection of the 2007 MLB Draft. He was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays three years later, and to the New York Mets three years after that. d’Arnaud made his MLB debut in 2013 to kick off almost seven seasons in the Big Apple. His time there was marred by injures, and after missing almost all of 2018 due to Tommy John surgery, d’Arnaud returned this year for only 10 games before the Mets placed him on waivers.
d’Arnaud was signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers and then traded for cash considerations to the Tampa Bay Rays less than a week later. He said he’s finally feeling comfortable, but isn’t sure the change of scenery is responsible.
“Who knows?” d’Arnaud told the AP. “I know after 50 at-bats I started feeling more comfortable. I don’t know why, but that was the number.”
It looks like the Rays will depend a lot on d’Arnaud behind the plate as they battle in the American League East. Tampa Bay is five games back of the Yankees in the AL East, and leads the AL Wild Card race by two games. d’Arnaud has 13 hits, nine RBIs and four home runs in his last 29 at bats.
*Statistics thru Monday July 15