Red Sox’s Jarren Duran Comes Out Swinging In Return Vs. Cubs

Duran hit his first home run of the season Friday


It had been five days since Boston Red Sox center fielder Jarren Duran last stepped into the batter’s box to face big-league pitching in a game setting.

Duran, who missed a three-game series in Toronto against the Blue Jays due to his vaccination status, certainly didn’t waste any time getting re-acclimated.

Back in his usual leadoff spot for Friday’s loss to the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field, Duran swung at the first pitch of the game from right-hander Adrian Sampson and belted it 417 feet over the wall in center for a solo homer to quickly ignite the Red Sox’s offense.

“They probably know I’ve been off a couple days and probably trying to take advantage of not seeing any live (pitching),” Duran said, as seen on NESN postgame coverage. “Just trying to be on time and early and just happened to run into it.”

It was Duran’s first round-tripper of the season, and even he admitted that it came as a surprise to go deep on the very first pitch anyone saw.

“It felt pretty good,” Duran said. “Honestly, just thought it was a single at first. Just haven’t been hitting a lot of home runs. So when I ran into it, I was a little in shock, but it’s always a good feeling to hit one.”

Duran’s performance at the plate didn’t stop after that swing. The 25-year-old laced an RBI single to center in the top of the sixth off of left-handed reliever Brandon Hughes, and at the time, it looked like a critical hit before the Cubs mounted a comeback.

“Lefties have always been a battle,” Duran said. “He’s a good pitcher. He’s got some good stuff. But we had a good report on him and I just stayed true to it and I just happened to get that RBI, try to give us a chance to win.”

Duran, who is now hitting .333 in 14 games with Boston this season, will try to help the Red Sox bounce back in Saturday’s matchup with the Cubs scheduled for 7:15 p.m. ET on FOX. Boston then closes out its series with Chicago on Sunday. First pitch for that contest is scheduled for 2:20 p.m., and you can watch the game, plus an hour of pregame coverage on NESN.

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