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MINOR LEAGUES

Jarren Duran stays hot, hits first walk-off home run in Polar Park history

Jarren Duran has five home runs in his last 10 games with Triple A Worcester.
Jarren Duran has five home runs in his last 10 games with Triple A Worcester.Worcester Red Sox

Jarren Duran just keeps giving Red Sox fans more reasons to shout for his callup to the big club.

The 24-year-old center fielder became the answer to a trivia question on Sunday, slugging the first walk-off home run in the short history of Worcester’s Polar Park. His three-run blast in the 10th inning earned the WooSox a 5-2 victory over the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs, their 11th win in 12 games.

Worcester twice erased one-run deficits, via a Josh Ockimey solo home run in the third inning and an RBI double from Jack Lopez in the sixth. After Caleb Simpson, the fifth WooSox pitcher, worked around an intentional walk and the automatic runner on second in the 10th with two strikeouts, Franchy Cordero was intentionally walked to open the bottom of the frame.

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Duran, who earlier had a walk and three strikeouts from the leadoff spot, worked the count to 3-1, then went the opposite way. His 12th home run of the season cleared the grassy berm in left field.

Duran had only eight home runs in 2018-19 as he rose to Double A Portland, but is slugging .627 with a 1.006 OPS after his first 30 games in Triple A. He had multiple hits in six of seven games prior to Sunday, and his .286/.379/.627 line includes seven doubles with his 12 home runs. The latter is tied for second-most in Triple-A East. (The leader, Omaha’s Ryan McBroom, has 13 in 18 more plate appearances than Duran.)

Worcester (28-14) sits second in Triple-A East, 1½ games behind Yankees affiliate Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, and is 16-8 at Polar Park. (The RailRiders visit Worcester for its next two homestands, June 29-July 4 and July 13-18.) After an off-day Monday, the WooSox visit the Rochester Red Wings (Washington) for six games beginning Tuesday.