Safeco home run one Souza will remember

First time Rays outfielder, who grew up in Washington, went deep at ballpark

Safeco home run one Souza will remember

SEATTLE -- The hometown boy finally made good.

In Tuesday night's 6-4 Rays loss to the Mariners, Steven Souza Jr., who hails from nearby Everett, Wash., and attended Cascade High School, connected for a home run at Safeco Field for the first time in his career.

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"It was cool," Souza said. "It's a special moment for the whole family. For me. You know, growing up watching the Mariners. A lot of my family's never seen me hit a home run professionally. Or even amateur. So to do that in front of all my family and friends was pretty cool."

Prior to the home run, the right fielder had just one hit in 21 at-bats while playing in front of family and friends at Safeco Field. Souza's memorable blast was his team-leading eighth home run of the season.

"I think I have a tendency to try and do too much," Souza said. "And this isn't a hitter-friendly park, so you combine those two and it doesn't end up a good recipe for me. Tried to calm down yesterday, put a good swing on the ball, and whatever happens, happens."

Souza seemed to float around the bases. After touching the plate, he pointed to Team Souza in the stands.

"They were screaming loud," Souza said. "They were all over the camera."

Souza huddled with family and friends after the game, which made Tuesday night's blast even more memorable.

"They were just congratulating me," Souza said. "They were all choked up. It was one of the coolest things that's happened to me. It's awesome."

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.