Jarren Duran has been exactly what the doctor ordered for the Boston Red Sox since his recall from Triple-A Worcester.
Taking full advantage of his opportunity in the lead-off spot of Boston’s lineup, Duran has shown the Red Sox — and manager Alex Cora — exactly what they’ve been looking for out of him since his major league debut in July, 2021.
“He’s been really good. The dynamic player we envisioned,” Cora said, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “It’s funny, because last year, there was a lot of talk about calling him up because he was hitting home runs and all that. This year, not much talk, and he’s just having.
“Running the bases, being an athlete, hitting the ball the other way. Not trying to do too much, and he played good defense too. This is what we want. We want a guy that can go the other way, hitting line drives, putting the ball in play and putting pressure on the opposition. That’s the best version of him.”
Duran went 4-for-5 with a double, RBI and two stolen bases in the Red Sox’s win over the Cleveland Guardians on Saturday, becoming the first Red Sox player to have at least four hits and at least two stolen bases in a game since Jacoby Ellsbury did it in 2011, according to Boston Sports Info on Twitter.
Duran’s career day wasn’t without fault, as he ran into an out trying to advance to third base on a spiked pitch with Rafael Devers at the plate. It ultimately wouldn’t matter, as the Red Sox scored three runs in the inning, but Devers singled, and almost surely would have scored Duran from second if he had stayed put on the pitch. Cora viewed the mishap as a learning opportunity.
“With the big boy hitting, you’ve got to be 1,000% sure, and he knows it,” Cora said. “Obviously, I don’t have that speed, so you never know. It was a good read, but I think you have to manage the game and know when to take chances.”
Duran will have one more opportunity to show what he’s made of against Cleveland before sitting out Boston’s series in Toronto. The final game of the Red Sox-Guardians series takes place on Sunday from Progressive Field. First pitch is scheduled for 1:40 p.m. ET, and full coverage of the game will be on NESN following on hour of pregame coverage.