Yasiel Puig Launches 2 Home Runs in 2nd Career Major-League Start
Puigmania is in full force, folks.
Through six innings on Tuesday, Los Angeles Dodgers recent call-up Yasiel Puig was 3-for-4 with two home runs, five RBI and two runs.
UPDATE: Wednesday, June 5, at 1:20 a.m. ET by Ian Hanford
Puig finished the night going 3-for-4 with 5 RBI, helping the Dodgers earn a 9-7 win over the Padres in the process.
---End of update---
The Dodgers tweeted:
Check the seismograph -- Dodger Stadium is shaking. Yasiel Puig goes yard for the second time tonight. #Dodgers lead 9-6.— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) June 5, 2013
Keep in mind, this came in the 22-year-old outfielder's second career major-league game.
And he's already making a little bit of history, as ESPN Stats & Info pointed out:
Yasiel Puig: 1st player with a 2-HR, 5-RBI game within 1st 2 career games since 1949! (Dino Restelli, Pirates)— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 5, 2013
In Puig's first major-league start on Monday, he showed off his arm, ending the game by picking off San Diego Padres outfielder Chris Denorfia at first base off a catch in right field.
By the way, Puig also went 2-for-4 in his debut, a 2-1 Dodgers victory.
Before making his debut, Puig was hitting .313 with eight home runs, 37 RBI, 26 runs and 13 stolen bases at Double-A Chattanooga. The young Cuban—signed to a seven-year, $42 million deal by the Dodgers last summer—also teared up spring training this year, hitting .517 with three home runs, 11 RBI, 16 runs and four stolen bases in 58 at-bats.
It may be early in Puig's MLB career, but there's no denying he has the tools to succeed in the world's more competitive baseball league. He's already drawing comparisons to Oakland Athletics Cuban slugger Yoenis Cespedes. In fact, there's a chance he could be better.
What's more, Puig's success comes at a desperate time for the Dodgers. They have suffered numerous injuries this season, posting a 23-32 record before the young outfielder's debut on Monday. On top of that, star Matt Kemp has struggled mightily, part of the reason they ranked 27th in baseball in runs scored before Tuesday's game.
As SportsCenter noted on Tuesday:
Dodgers rookie Yasiel Puig now has as many HR this season (2) as All-Star Matt Kemp.— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 5, 2013
Puig may be just the spark of energy the Dodgers needed.
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