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Mike Zunino credits ‘dad strength’ for homer after birth of first child

Mike Zunino and wife Alyssa recently welcomed their first child, and the Tampa Bay Rays catcher is crediting “dad strength” for slugging his first homer of the season upon his return to the team.

Rhett Michael Zunino was born late last Friday night, and Alyssa shared a photograph of the newborn boy the next day.

Zunino last played on April 18 before Monday’s game, as he was on paternity leave over the weekend to attend his son’s delivery and spend time with the newborn and his wife in the days that followed.

Mired in a slump so far this season with a .560 OPS, Zunino retuned to the club for Monday’s matchup with the Kansas City Royals. Before the game, Zunino told FOX Sports’ Tricia Whitaker he was hoping some “dad strength” would break him out of slump.

It turned out to be the case, as Zunino’s go-ahead two-run homer — his first of the season — led the Rays to a 6-3 victory.

Alyssa Zunino took to Twitter to respond to Whitaker’s original “dad strength” tweet to make note of how she and Rhett were “so proud” of the new father in the family.

Special night, indeed.