Following exciting win, Tampa Bay Rays and fans head into Game 2 of ALDS

When the team said "Troptober" is here, they weren’t kidding. The Rays didn’t disappoint during the first game for the American League Division Series. 

The team shutout the Boston Red Sox, and while that may be the cherry on the top of the night, the other big "win" was the fans returning to the stands for the postseason. It was the first playoff game to welcome back fans at Tropicana Field in two years, and fans didn’t disappoint either. Thousands showed up and had the energy to fill the venue.

An estimated 30,000 people were in attendance -- a drastic difference from the quiet cardboard cutouts of 2020.

Thursday night, Randy Arozarena became the first player to hit a home run and steal home in a postseason game, propelling the Tampa Bay Rays to a 5-0 victory over the Red Sox.

MORE: Arozarena shines for packed Tropicana Field; Rays blank Red Sox 5-0 in ALDS opener

The breakout star of October last year, Arozarena made a breathtaking dash to the plate in the seventh inning for the first straight steal of home in the postseason since Jackie Robinson did it for the Brooklyn Dodgers against Yogi Berra and the New York Yankees in the 1955 World Series, according to the FS1 broadcast.

"I noticed the pitcher kind of wasn’t keeping attention to me. I was able to take a big enough lead and take that base," Arozarena said through a translator. "That’s the first time I’ve ever stolen home."

Nelson Cruz also homered and rookie Shane McClanahan pitched five stellar innings for the AL East champion Rays.

Wander Franco also sparkled in his playoff debut, delivering an early RBI double that sent the speedy Arozarena home from first base to get the defending AL champions off to a quick start.

READ: Former USF Bull turned Rays pitcher makes MLB history 2 years in a row

Fans said they believe their energy will help the team go far in the series. 

"It’s a whole different team, more positive, more well-trained," said Jana Carlo of Largo. "They’re at it, man, they’re at it."

"We want to see the Rays win the World Series," expressed Bill Luckett of Winter Haven. "Send Boston packing back home."

Game 2 in the best-of-five series is tonight, with Chris Sale scheduled to start for Boston against rookie Shane Baz. The Rays will be on the road Sunday. Watch parties will be held at the St. Pete Pier and Tampa Theatre.