Red Sox option Jarren Duran to Triple-A Worcester, clearing way for Raimel Tapia to make team

The Red Sox have optioned outfielder Jarren Duran to Triple-A Worcester, the club announced following Tuesday’s Grapefruit League finale against the Braves at JetBlue Park.

By optioning Duran, the Red Sox have effectively cleared the way for non-roster invitee Raimel Tapia to make the team as a fifth outfielder. Tapia, however, is not yet on Boston’s 40-man roster, which is currently at full capacity. And so the club still needs to clear a spot in order to officially add the 29-year-old outfielder to the mix.

Duran and Tapia were essentially competing for a reserve outfield spot behind the likes of Masataka Yoshida, Adam Duvall, Alex Verdugo, and Rob Refsnyder on Boston’s Opening Day roster. Whoever came out on top would be in line to serve as a left-handed hitting complement to the right-handed hitting Refsnyder off the bench.

In just nine games with the Red Sox this spring, Duran went 6-for-18 (.333) at the plate with three doubles, one home run, one RBI, five runs scored, one stolen base, four walks, and three strikeouts. The 26-year-old was away from the team for a little more than two weeks earlier this month to play for Mexico in the World Baseball Classic. But he was used sparingly in that time and only accrued five plate appearances.

Tapia, meanwhile, signed a minor-league contract with the Red Sox in January and proved to be one of the club’s top offensive performers this spring. In Grapefruit League games, he batted .326/.383/.605 with six doubles, two homers, five RBIs, seven runs scored, three stolen bases, three walks, and six strikeouts across 47 trips to the plate.

According to’s Chris Cotillo, Tapia had the ability to opt out of his deal on Monday, but he elected to remain with the Red Sox through their final game of the spring and went 1-for-2 with a double and run scored in Tuesday’s 7-5 loss to the Braves.

With Duran optioned and Tapia set to make the team, the Red Sox are now tasked with creating an opening for the latter. As noted by The Boston Globe’s Julian McWilliams, it appears as though the club will accomplish this by placing infielder Adalberto Mondesi (ACL rehab) on the 60-day injured list to begin the season.

The Red Sox have just one roster-related decision remaining, and it pertains to the final spot in the bullpen. It will either go to Kaleb Ort, who is already on the 40-man roster but has struggled mightily this spring, Oddanier Mosqueda, Ryan Sherriff or an external option is not yet with the club.

If one of Mosqueda or Sherriff — who were in camp as non-roster invitees — or an outside addition gets the job, another 40-man roster spot would need to be cleared. In that scenario, Ort could very well wind up getting designated for assignment.

All things considered, the Red Sox must finalize their initial 26-man roster to start the season before their Opening Day matchup against the Orioles at Fenway Park on Thursday afternoon.

(Picture of Jarren Duran: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)


Kenley Jansen works scoreless third inning in spring debut as Red Sox, Astros once again play to 4-4 tie

For the second time in four days, the Red Sox and Astros played to a 4-4 tie in Grapefruit League action. After it happened in West Palm Beach on Wednesday, a winner could once again not be determined in Saturday afternoon’s contest at JetBlue Park.

Nick Pivetta, making his first start of the spring for Boston, lasted just 1 1/3 innings against Houston. The right-hander came into camp still on the mend from a recent bout with COVID-19 and displayed his rustiness on Saturday by allowing three earned runs on five hits and one walk to go along with four strikeouts.

After retiring the first two batters he faced in the top of the first, Pivetta gave up a groundball single to Jake Meyers and followed that up by serving up a two-run home run to Corey Julks. He got through the rest of the inning unscathed but ran into more trouble in the second by surrendering three straight singles to lead things off.

Pivetta struck out the next two batters to keep the bases loaded, but he then balked to bring in Rylan Bannon from third and issued a walk to Chas McCormick to refill the bases. Jake Faria came in for Pivetta and managed to escape any further damage by getting Jake Meyers to ground out to Rafael Devers at third.

Still, it was not a productive day for Pivetta, who needed 43 pitches to record five outs. That being said, the Red Sox lineup promptly came to life in their half of the second inning by putting up a three-spot against Astros starter Shawn Dubin.

Triston Casas led off with a single and Jorge Alfaro followed with a double. Jarren Duran then drew a walk to fill the bases for Rob Refsnyder, who plated Casas and moved Alfaro and Duran up an additional 90 feet with an RBI groundout. With one out and runners at second and third, Raimel Tapia came through with a game-tying, two-run double to left field that pulled Boston back even with Houston at three runs apiece.

The Red Sox and Astros then traded zeroes for the next five innings. Kenley Jansen made quick work of Houston in his spring debut by retiring the side in order in the top half of the third. The veteran closer did not commit a single pitch clock violation, either. Fellow free agent addition Chris Martin was responsible for the fourth inning. He worked his way around two walks and struck out one in a scoreless frame.

Josh Winckowski took over for Martin in the fifth and collected four strikeouts while scattering two hits and two walks to the 12 batters he faced across three more scoreless innings. Oddanier Mosqueda saw Boston’s run of five consecutive shutout frames come to an end when he surrendered a two-out RBI single to Zach Daniels in the top of the eighth.

Shortly after that go-ahead run crossed the plate for the Astros, though, the Red Sox quickly responded in their half of the inning. Niko Goodrum and Enmanuel Valdez each singled with one out to put runners on the corners for Daniel Palka. Palka, in turn, drove in the tying run (Goodrum) with a sacrifice fly to right field.

In the ninth inning of a 4-4 contest, Cam Booser faced the minimum in the top half for Boston and Cesar Gomez did the same for Houston in the bottom half. That is how the game, which ultimately took two hours and 36 minutes to complete, ended.

Other notable numbers:

Duran, who drew two walks and scored one run, was the only member of the Red Sox lineup to take ball four on Saturday.

By going 1-for-2 with that two-run double on Saturday, Tapia is now batting .357 (5-for-14) with four doubles in five Grapefruit League games this spring. He is currently tied for the team lead in doubles and is tied for third with nine total bases.

Next up: Kluber vs. Rogers

At 5-0-3, the Red Sox will close out the first weekend of March by hosting the Marlins in Fort Myers on Sunday afternoon. Right-hander Corey Kluber is slated to start for Boston opposite Miami left-hander Trevor Rogers. This is the same pitching matchup we saw in Jupiter last Tuesday.

First pitch from JetBlue Park on Sunday is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Kenley Jansen: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox’ Alex Verdugo, Jarren Duran team up, bring in mariachi band to perform as part of presentation on Mexico

Red Sox outfielders Alex Verdugo and Jarren Duran will soon be heading out to Arizona to play for Mexico in the World Baseball Classic. To mark the occasion, manager Alex Cora instructed the pair to give a presentation on the country to the rest of their teammates on Monday.

As part of that presentation, a five-piece mariachi band performed inside the clubhouse and later on while players stretched and played catch on the field. They even played Verdugo’s walk-up song, “Volver, Volver” by Vicente Fernandez.

Verdugo, whose father Joe is from Mexico, took charge of the assignment. The 26-year-old put together an informational poster board that included facts about the country’s history, the origins of its flag, and some of its most accomplished baseball stars like Fernando Valenzuela and Vinny Castilla.

“It was on, I think Friday, when we got hit with it,” Verdugo told reporters (including’s Ian Browne) on Monday. “AC had a meeting and at the end of it, asked me and Duran to do a presentation on Mexico. I just got the ball rolling and obviously I knew I had to make a poster with some facts on it. But I think the big thing that kind of got everybody excited was having the mariachi band here.”

Verdugo was then asked how one goes about finding a mariachi band in southwest Florida?

“Google. You just Google them and we found them,” Verdugo said of the group, Mariachi Villa de Guadalupe. “They were out of Cape Coral. They were able to drive out here and help me out. It was great. They were great, honestly. I was a little nervous, obviously being in Fort Myers and I was like, ‘I hope they’re good,’ you know what I mean? But they were great and it came out really good.”

Verdugo said he began working on the poster following Sunday’s 7-6 Grapefruit League win over the Rays at JetBlue Park. While most veteran players will head home as soon as they are subbed out during spring games, Verdugo — who played the first five innings on Sunday — remained at the Fenway South complex well into the evening.

“I didn’t leave here until 6 p.m.,” said Verdugo. “I was taking advantage of the printers and everything that they have here. It was hard work, but it felt good and it was rewarding to kind of see the guys, the clubhouse, everybody, just really enjoy it. It was fun.”

Though he certainly does not lack confidence on the field, Verdugo did acknowledge that he felt some angst building up before and during the oral part of the presentation.

“Yeah, I felt so nervous. I don’t usually mind talking in front of the group if it’s all just jokes and fun. But as soon as I had to be a little bit serious, my heart was racing,” he said. “I was more nervous there than I was in the postseason or any type of baseball atmosphere.”

Verdugo, who was acquired from the Dodgers in the infamous Mookie Betts trade three years ago, is preparing for his fourth season with the Red Sox. Despite the fact that he is still two-plus months shy of turning 27, he is already the fourth-longest tenured player on the team behind only Chris Sale, Rafael Devers, and Ryan Brasier.

“Dugie, he’s been here since ’20,” Cora said. “He’s an important part of what we’re trying to accomplish and you see what he’s done physically and where he’s at.”

Duran, meanwhile, undertook a supporting role in the presentation before going 2-for-2 with a double and home run in Monday’s 4-1 win victory over the Twins to kick off the 2023 Chairman’s Cup. Like Verdugo, the 26-year-old Duran’s father, Octavio, hails from Mexico.

“We did our part. [Verdugo] did a lot of the research,” said Duran. “I just had a little acting skit going. I was doing some acting on the side.”

Regarding Duran and the presentation as a whole, Cora remarked: “Obviously Jarren is a kid that we appreciate and we expect a lot from him. And just for them to step up and be [out of their comfort zone] doing this [was good]. They did their research. And it was actually a great day for us in the clubhouse.”

Based on photos posted on the Red Sox’ social media accounts, it appears as though some of the more established veterans on the team, such as Kiké Hernández, Justin Turner, and Corey Kluber, enjoyed the show.

“That’s what it’s all about, right?” Cora said, via The Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham. “I know [people] are questioning the clubhouse and leadership and what we’re doing there. We’re going to do stuff to get to where we’re supposed to.”

With Monday’s team-building exercise in the books as a rousing success, Cora indicated that one of the club’s other WBC participants could give a similar kind of presentation some time next week.

“We’ve got a few guys who are going to the tournament,” said Cora. “I’ll probably tell Kiké to do something to talk about Puerto Rico, so we’ll see.”

(Picture of Alex Verdugo and Jarren Duran: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Jarren Duran homers, Kutter Crawford tosses two scoreless innings as Red Sox top Twins, 4-1, in first meeting of spring

The Red Sox improved to 2-0-1 in Grapefruit League on Monday afternoon by taking down the Twins in Game 1 of the 2023 Chairman’s Cup. Boston defeated Minnesota by a final score of 4-1 at JetBlue Park.

Kutter Crawford, making his first start of the spring, provided the Sox with two scoreless innings out of the gate. The right-hander gave up two hits and no walks to go along with a pair of strikeouts in the process of retiring six of the eight batters he faced.

Both of those hits came in the top of the second. But Crawford escaped any further damage by getting Austin Martin to ground out to Enrique Hernandez deep in the hole at shortstop. Hernandez, in turn, made an impressive crossbody throw to Justin Turner over at first base to record the out.

In relief of Crawford, fellow righty Durbin Feltman received the first call out of the Boston bullpen. Feltman faced the minimum in the third despite giving up a one-out single to Max Kepler. Kepler attempted to steal second base while Ryan Jeffers was at the plate, but he was instead gunned down by Reese McGuire as part of an inning-ending strike ’em out, throw ’em out double play.

After Chase Shugart and Taylor Broadway each put up zeroes in their respective innings of work, the Red Sox got on the board in their half of the fifth. Jarren Duran, who had already doubled in the third inning, led things off by clubbing his first home run of the spring over the faux Green Monster in left field.

The Twins, however, quickly got that run back in the following inning. After putting runners on the corners with one out in the sixth, minor-league Rule 5 pickup Joe Jacques allowed Kyle Farmer to score from third on an RBI groundout off the bat of Trevor Larnach to pull Minnesota back even with Boston at 1-1.

That stalemate did not last long, though. With one out in the bottom of the sixth, the pinch-hitting Bobby Dalbec laced a hard-hit double to left field off Simeon-Woods Richardson. Enmanuel Valdez and Caleb Hamilton followed by taking ball four to fill the bases for Ceddanne Rafaela, who — in the place of Duran — plated Dalbec with a seeing-eye single through the left side of the infield. Greg Allen then provided some insurance by driving in Valdez with a sacrifice fly to make it a 3-1 game in favor of the Sox.

Left-handers Cam Booser and Brendan Cellucci each kept the Twins off the board in the top half of the seventh and eighth innings. In the latter half of the eighth, Hamilton reached base via a one-out double. He then scored all the way from second when Rafaela lifted a sacrifice fly to deep center field. Minnesota showed very little urgency in getting the ball back to the infield, which allowed Hamilton to accomplish the rare feat.

Taking a newfound 4-1 lead into the ninth, Jake Thompson closed things out for Boston to record his first save of the spring and secure a three-run victory. All told, Monday’s contest took a swift two hours and 24 hours to complete.

Other notable numbers:

Duran, who went 2-for-2 with two extra-base hits, is now batting .330/.378/.592 with five homers and 11 RBIs in 54 career Grapefruit League games dating back to 2019.

Alex Verdugo also recorded two hits on Monday. The left-handed hitter has kicked off his spring by going 4-for-5 (.800) in his first two Grapefruit League games of the year.

Next up: Kluber makes his 2023 debut

The Red Sox will hit the road and head to the east coast of Florida for their next two games. They will be taking on the Marlins in Jupiter on Tuesday evening. Veteran right-hander Corey Kluber is slated to make his first start for Boston opposite Miami left-hander Trevor Rogers.

First pitch from Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium is scheduled for 6:40 p.m. eastern time on NESN+ and MLB Network.

(Picture of Jarren Duran: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Rafael Devers, Masataka Yoshida among 12 Red Sox players who will take part in 2023 World Baseball Classic

The Red Sox will have 12 major- and minor-leaguers representing their respective countries/territories in the 2023 World Baseball Classic, which gets underway next month.

Rafael Devers (Dominican Republic), Masataka Yoshida (Japan), Enrique Hernandez (Puerto Rico), Alex Verdugo and Jarren Duran (Mexico), Nick Pivetta (Canada), Richard Bleier (Israel) and Kenley Jansen (Netherlands) make up 20 percent of Boston’s current 40-man roster.

Jansen, who signed a two-year, $32 million deal with the Red Sox in December, is on Netherlands’ roster but only as a member of their designated pitcher pool, meaning the veteran reliever will not be eligible to join the team during pool play.

Ceddanne Rafaela, one of the top prospects in Boston’s farm system, was expected to play for the Netherlands, but the 22-year-old out of Curacao was instead omitted from the team’s final roster.

Trevor Story originally committed to play for the United States last July but took himself out of consideration for a roster spot by undergoing an internal bracing procedure on his right elbow last month. As a result, the Red Sox have no representation on Team USA. It should be noted that while both Verdugo and Duran were born in the United States, they are of Mexican-American descent.

Turning to the minor-league side of things, Jorge Alfaro and Rio Gomez will both play for Colombia. Alfaro signed a minors pact with the Red Sox last month and received an invite to big-league spring training. Gomez, on the other hand has been in the organization since being taken in the 36th round of the 2017 amateur draft out of the University of Arizona.

Edwin Diaz will join Hernandez in representing Puerto Rico after signing a minor-league deal with Boston in January. The 27-year-old infielder had been playing for Puerto Rico in the Caribbean Series before they were eliminated by Mexico on Wednesday.

Norwith Gudino is the Sox’ lone representative from Venezuela. The 27-year-old right-hander inked a minor-league contract with the Red Sox in December and — in similar fashion to Jansen — is part of his country’s player pool.

The 2023 World Baseball Classic begins on March 8. Pool play runs through March 15 and the quarterfinals take place from March 15-18. The semifinals run from March 19-20 and the championship game will be held at loanDepot Park in Miami on March 21.

Before that all happens, the Red Sox will take on Puerto Rico in an exhibition game at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers on March 8. Team Puerto Rico will also train at the Fenway South complex prior to the start of the tournament.

(Picture of Rafael Devers: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox reinstate Kaleb Ort from restricted list, call up Josh Winckowski in series of roster moves

Before falling to the Blue Jays by a final score of 10-0 at Rogers Centre on Saturday, the Red Sox made a series of roster moves.

First off, reliever Kaleb Ort was reinstated from the restricted list while right-hander Josh Winckowski was recalled from Triple-A Worcester. In order to make room for Ort and Winckowski on the active roster, righty Tyler Danish and outfielder Jarren Duran were both optioned following Friday night’s game.

Ort was initially placed on the restricted list on Friday due to the fact that he is not vaccinated against COVID-19. Since Canada dropped its vaccine mandate for visitors on Saturday, however, the 30-year-old hurler was able to join the Red Sox in Toronto for the second game of their three-game series against the Jays.

Though he was not used in Saturday’s defeat, Ort carries with him a 6.26 ERA and 4.91 FIP to go along with 27 strikeouts to 15 walks over 24 relief appearances (27 1/3 innings) for Boston this season.

Winckowski, meanwhile, was used out of the bullpen on Saturday. The 24-year-old rookie made the first relief appearance of his major-league career and his first overall appearance since September 4. He allowed three runs on six hits, one walk, and three strikeouts across three innings.

Of the 56 pitches Winckowski threw, 36 went for strikes. According to Baseball Savant, the 6-foot-4, 202-pounder induced seven swings-and-misses and topped out at 96.5 mph with his sinker, a pitch he threw 22 times.

As for who the Red Sox sent down, Danish struggled mightily on Friday night. The 28-year-old surrendered four earned runs on five hits and three strikeouts and now owns a 5.13 ERA (4.97 FIP) on the 2022 campaign as a whole.

Duran, on the other hand, was called up to take the place of Ort on Friday. The speedy 26-year-old went 1-for-4 with a single in his fourth — and possibly final — big-league stint of the season before being optioned on Saturday.

Both Danish and Duran will remain on Boston’s taxi squad for the remainder of the road trip in Toronto. The Red Sox are now carrying 14 pitchers and 14 position players on their 28-man roster.

(Picture of Kaleb Ort: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox place Kaleb Ort on restricted list, call up Jarren Duran from Triple-A Worcester

The Red Sox have placed reliever Kaleb Ort on the restricted list. In a corresponding move, outfielder Jarren Duran was recalled from Triple-A Worcester, the club announced before Friday’s series opener against the Blue Jays in Toronto.

Ort is not vaccinated against COVID-19 and is therefore unable to enter Canada legally. That mandate will be dropped by the Canadian government on Saturday, however, so the right-hander will be able to join the Red Sox in Toronto for the final two games of the series at Rogers Centre.

In 24 relief appearances for Boston this season, Ort has posted a 6.26 ERA and 4.91 FIP to go along with 27 strikeouts to 15 walks over 27 1/3 innings of work. The 30-year-old hurler picked up the first save of his big-league career in Thursday’s 5-3 win over the Orioles at Fenway Park.

Rather than replace Ort with another pitcher, the Red Sox opted for a position player in Duran. The speedy 26-year-old missed Boston’s last trip to Toronto due to his unvaccinated status, but he has since received the shots and traveled with the team to Canada on Thursday.

In his first major-league action since late August, Duran will bat leadoff and start in center field for the Red Sox on Friday. The left-handed hitter is currently slashing .220/.283/.365 with 14 doubles, three triples, three home runs, 17 RBIs, 23 runs scored, seven stolen bases, 14 walks, and 63 strikeouts over 57 games (219 plate appearances) this season.

With Duran on the active roster for the time being, the Sox will be carrying catcher Ronaldo Hernandez, left-hander Darwinzon Hernandez, and right-handers Bryan Mata and Josh Winckowski on their taxi squad.

(Picture of Jarren Duran: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox activate Trevor Story from injured list, option Jarren Duran to Triple-A Worcester

The Red Sox have activated second baseman Trevor Story from the 10-day injured list. In a corresponding move, outfielder Jarren Duran was optioned to Triple-A Worcester on Friday night, the club announced prior to Saturday’s game against the Rays at Fenway Park.

Story returns after missing the last six-plus weeks with a small hairline fracture near his right wrist. The 29-year-old sustained the injury in St. Petersburg on July 12, when he was hit in the right hand by an 89 mph sinker from Rays starter Corey Kluber.

It took until earlier this month for Story to swing a bat pain-free again. He was sent out on a rehab assignment with Double-A Portland on Wednesday and went 3-for-5 with a double, a home run, three RBIs, one walk, and three runs scored over two games for the Sea Dogs. The right-handed hitting infielder was slated to play at Hadlock Field on Friday as well, but that game was rained out.

Coming into play on Saturday, Story has slashed .221/.289/.423 with 17 doubles, 15 home runs, 58 RBIs, 49 runs scored, 10 stolen bases, 28 walks, and 105 strikeouts across 81 games (342 plate appearances) with the Red Sox this season. On the other side of the ball, the two-time All-Star currently ranks first among American League second baseman in Defensive Runs Saved (8) and third in Outs Above Average (9), per FanGraphs.

Duran, meanwhile, has struggled to a .220/.283/.365 clip at the big-league level this season to go along with 14 doubles, three triples, three home runs, 17 RBIs, 23 runs scored, seven stolen bases, 14 walks, and 63 strikeouts over 57 games (219 plate appearances). That includes a .182/.247/.318 slash line in 44 games since July 1.

Regarded by Baseball America as the No. 4 prospect in Boston’s farm system coming into the 2022 campaign, Duran has continued to impress with his speed but has had his fair share of difficulties in the outfield. The soon-to-be 26-year-old has posted negative-9 defensive runs saved over 408 1/3 innings in center field this season.

While he may have shown some signs of improvement as of late, the Red Sox want Duran to continue to work while playing on a more-frequent basis in Worcester. In 43 games with the WooSox this year, the left-handed hitter has batted .305/.379/.531 with 12 doubles, five triples, six homers, 28 runs driven in, 34 runs scored, 11 stolen bases, 20 walks, and 48 strikeouts across 198 trips to the plate.

(Picture of Trevor Story: Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

Kiké Hernández homers, Michael Wacha tosses 5 2/3 scoreless innings as Red Sox hold on for 4-3 win over Orioles

The Red Sox held on for a one-run over the Orioles at Camden Yards on Saturday afternoon. Boston defeated Baltimore by a final score of 4-3 to improve to 60-61 on the season.

Michael Wacha, making his 15th start of the season for the Sox, kept the O’s off the scoreboard while scattering four hits and one walk to go along with four strikeouts over 5 2/3 strong innings of work.

There were not too many dramatic moments to be had for Wacha, who retired 11 of the first 14 batters he faced leading into the top half of the fifth inning. To that point in the contest, the Boston bats had been held in check by Baltimore starter Kyle Bradish.

Kevin Plawecki reached base via a one-out single. Christian Arroyo followed with a base hit of his own to put runners on the corners for Alex Verdugo, who promptly roped another single to right field to drive in Plawecki.

An inning later, J.D. Martinez led off against Bradish with a sharply-hit single. After Bobby Dalbec struck out for the first out of the sixth, Enrique Hernandez came through by depositing a 373-foot two-run home run down the left field line.

Hernandez’s fifth home run of the season was the first from any Red Sox hitter since last Sunday. It also gave Boston a 3-0 lead. Wacha, meanwhile, continued to impress before giving up a one-out single to Austin Hays and issuing a two-out walk to Anthony Santander in the bottom of the sixth.

At that point, Red Sox manager Alex Cora opted to turn to his bullpen. John Schreiber came on in relief of Wacha and officially closed the book on the righty’s outing by stranding both of the runners he inherited with a three-pitch strikeout of Ryan Mountcastle.

Wacha finished with a final pitch count of 79 (52 strikes), inducing seven total swings-and-misses while mixing a four-seam fastball, changeup, cutter, sinker, and curveball. The 31-year-old hurler improved to 8-1 on the season and lowered his ERA to 2.28. He has yet to allow a run since returning from the injured list on August 14.

Schreiber came back out for the seventh and immediately surrendered a leadoff single to Ramon Urias. Jorge Mateo followed with another single to right field, but Jarren Duran made a poor throw back to the infield and missed the cutoff man, which allowed both runners to advance an additional 90 feet.

With runners at second and third for the Orioles now, the pinch-hitting Kyle Stowers plated Urias on a groundout to second base. Mateo then scored on a two-out wild pitch to trim Boston’s advantage down to one run at 3-2.

After Garrett Whitlock worked his way around a one-out single in a scoreless eighth inning, Duran was able to redeem himself in the ninth by reaching on a one-out bunt single off Bryan Baker. With the hit-and-run on, Duran went from first to third on a Plawecki single. He then scored from third on Arroyo’s third hit of the day — an 86.7 mph double to left field.

Arroyo’s RBI double would prove to be an important moment in this game. That being the case because Whitlock yielded a one-out triple to Mateo in the bottom of the ninth. Mateo scored on another Stowers groundout, but Whitlock held it down by getting Rougned Odor to line out to center field to end it.

Whitlock picked up his fifth save of the season while the Red Sox secured a 4-3 victory. Arroyo led the way offensively with three hits while Verdugo, Martinez, and Plawecki all enjoyed two-hit games.

Next up: 2022 Little League Classic on deck

The Red Sox and Orioles will wrap up this three-game weekend series in Williamsport, Pa. on Sunday night. In the fifth annual MLB Little League Classic, right-hander Nick Pivetta will get the start for Boston while fellow righty Dean Kremer will do the same for Baltimore.

First pitch from Muncy Bank Ballpark at Historic Bowman Field is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on ESPN.

(Picture of Enrique Hernandez: Greg Flume/Getty Images)

Jarren Duran leads the way with 3 RBIs as Red Sox hold on for 3-2 win over Astros

On a day filled with distractions — and trades — the Red Sox pulled off a come-from-behind victory over the Astros at Minute Maid Park on Monday night.

Boston defeated Houston by a final score 3-2 to improve to 52-52 on the season and win back-to-back games for the first time since July 9-10.

Nathan Eovaldi, in what could be his final start with the Red Sox ahead of Tuesday’s trade deadline, put together a gritty performance at his hometown ballpark. The veteran right-hander allowed two runs — both of which were unearned — on four hits and two walks to go along with six strikeouts over 6 1/3 innings of work.

Both of those runs came in the bottom of the third inning. With the Red Sox already in possession of a 1-0 lead, Jose Altuve led off by reaching first base on a Christian Arroyo fielding error. Yuli Gurriel then grounded into what had the makings to be a 6-4-3 double play, but Xander Bogaerts misplayed the ball, allowing both runners to reach base safely. Yordan Alvarez proceeded to plate Altuve on a game-tying sacrifice fly while Aledmys Diaz drove in Gurriel on an RBI double.

Eovaldi managed to strand Diaz at second base in the process of retiring the next 11 batters he faced. With one out in the seventh, Martin Maldonado lifted a 241-foot flyball to right field that Franchy Cordero could not come up with.

That is how Eovaldi’s night came to a close. The 32-year-old hurler finished with a final pitch count of 97 (60 strikes), though he only averaged 94.1 mph with his four-seam fastball. His ERA on the season now sits at 3.81.

Offensively, Jarren Duran accounted for all three of Boston’s runs on Monday. Matched up against Astros righty Luis Garcia, Duran laced a ground-rule RBI double to drive in Bobby Dalbec from second with two outs in the third inning.

Fast forward to the fifth, the Dalbec-Duran combination struck again. With Garcia still on the mound for Houston, Dalbec drew a leadoff walk and Duran once more came up to the plate with two outs.

On a first-pitch, 84 mph cutter from Garcia, Duran crushed a 379-foot two-run shot to right field. Duran’s second home run of the season left his bat at 98.1 mph. It also gave the Red Sox their first lead of the night at 3-2.

In relief of Eovaldi, John Schreiber received the first call out of the Boston bullpen from manager Alex Cora. With one runner on and two outs to get in the seventh, Schreiber got Altuve to ground into an inning-ending, 5-4-3 double play. He then allowed two of the first three Astros he faced to reach in the eighth before retiring Kyle Tucker and punching out Jeremy Pena on six pitches.

That paved the way for Tanner Houck in the ninth. Houck made relative quick work of the Astros to record his seventh save of the season and his first since June 25.

Next up: Crawford vs. Javier

The Red Sox will go for a rare series win over the Astros on Tuesday night. Kutter Crawford will get the start for Boston while fellow right-hander Cristian Javier will do the same for Houston.

First pitch from Minute Maid Park is scheduled for 8:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Jarren Duran: Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)