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Jarren Duran latest Red Sox player to land on COVID-related injured list after positive test

Jarren Duran was placed on the COVID-related injured list after experiencing symptoms Friday.Elise Amendola/Associated Press

The Red Sox had reason to believe they were in the clear after a flurry of COVID-19 cases in the clubhouse throughout the week, but rookie outfielder Jarren Duran had to be pulled from the lineup Friday night after experiencing symptoms that required testing.

Duran, who was originally set to play center field and hit seventh, had to remain away from the team as he waited for test results. Manager Alex Cora announced after the 8-5 win over the Indians that Duran tested positive.

Catcher Connor Wong was recalled from Triple A Worcester to take Duran’s place on the roster.


The Sox have had seven other players and two staff members test positive since last Friday, along with one player and one staff member being identified as close contacts.

Duran’s symptoms came a day after the Sox returned no positive tests Thursday as they wrapped up their road trip with a 4-0 win over the Tampa Bay Rays.

Kiké Hernández originally went on the COVID-19 related injury list Aug. 27. Christian Arroyo was identified as a close contact and was also placed on the COVID list along with strength and conditioning coach Kiyoshi Momose, who tested positive Sunday.

Reliever Martín Pérez and closer Matt Barnes were both placed on the COVID list Monday. Reliever Josh Taylor was named as a close contact to Barnes and was placed on the COVID list the next day along with reliever Hirokazu Sawamura.

Shortstop Xander Bogaerts was pulled from Tuesday night’s game in Tampa and placed on the COVID list that day along with Yairo Muñoz.

Cora was hesitant to think about when any of them might make a return, but said Hernández was “feeling better” and could hopefully return by the start of next week. Arroyo could be back by the middle of the week and Bogaerts could return by the end of the week, Cora said.


“That’s where we at right now,” Cora said. “But things might change.”

With the bullpen running thin, righthanders Kutter Crawford and Connor Seabold could be depth options from Triple A Worcester.

“We’ve got to be prepared,” Cora said.

Despite the outbreak, the Sox still managed to go 4-3 on their recent seven-game trip. then arrived in Boston late Thursday night to start a six-game homestand with three games against the Indians.

Cora decided to push the Sox pregame schedule back to give players time to settle in.

“It’s one of those weekends, we recognize we have to make sure we keep them off their feet,” Cora said. “But at the same time, it’s been a very challenging week for them, as far as everything else. So we pushed everything back. And now, the less time we spend together the better, which is ironic enough, right?

To account for Duran’s late scratch, Cora moved Alex Verdugo to center field, with Kyle Schwarber in left and Bobby Dalbec in right.

Managing Whitlock and Richards

The Sox bullpen has had to carry a heavy workload, but Cora didn’t want Cleveland manager DeMarlo Hale to expect the series opener to be a light day.

Both Garrett Whitlock and Garrett Richards were available in relief Friday night. Whitlock came on with two outs in the eighth to get out of a jam, then gave up a run on three hits with two strikeouts in the ninth.


“I called DeMarlo this morning and said the two righties are up. They’ll be ready,” Cora said.

While Richards is a veteran who has churned out innings as a starter and a reliever, Whitlock is going through the grind for the first time as a rookie. Cora asked him to throw two innings Wednesday night against the Rays. It was the fourth time since July that Whitlock has had to get at least six outs in an appearance.

Cora said it’s important for him and Richards to be transparent about the righthander’s usage down the stretch.

“I think communication is very important because he’s never been through this,” Cora said. “So honesty is part of the equation, not because you want to post means that you can post.

“He’s been very honest about it the last few weeks, and we take it day by day with him and how he feels and also thinking ahead. Like, ‘OK, he went two today. If we use him for one, we might lose him for three [games].’ So we start doing the math and whatever it makes sense for the group, we’ll go with it.”

Ryan Brasier's appearance in the eighth inning Friday was his first in a major-league game since last Sept. 25.Barry Chin/Globe Staff

Brasier makes season debut

Ryan Brasier made his first appearance in nearly a year, and when he came off the mound, Cora had a message for him.

“I told him before he came off the mound that I’m glad that he’s back,” Cora said. “Obviously, I bet it was a very emotional day, emotional night.”

Brasier went in the injured list in April with a left calf strain, then as he was working his way back suffered a concussion after being struck by a line drive in Fort Myers.


He took the mound in the eighth with an 8-3 lead and got ground balls out of José Ramírez and Franmil Reyes, but couldn’t finish off the inning. He gave up a walk and two hits, including an RBI single to Bobby Bradley before handing the ball over to Whitlock. But after a long road back, he considered the night a win.

“Super excited,” Brasier said. “Obviously, felt good to finally be back on a big league mound after, shoot, almost a full year from last. But yeah, super excited, felt good. Obviously, the results weren’t what I wanted for my first one back, but a couple bad luck hits and then we’ve got one of the best relievers in baseball out there ready to take the ball and Whitlock came in and did what he’s been doing all year.”

Seeing Brasier’s fastball top out at 95 miles per hour, Cora said his presence will help in the bullpen.

“You saw the stuff,” Cora said. “Now he can breathe and we’ll use him in the right situations.”

Lefthander Hernandez progressing

Darwinzon Hernandez threw live batting practice Friday and will throw another live BP session Sunday as the lefthander continues to recover from a right oblique strain that’s had him on the injured list since July 31.

“He feels good,” Cora said. “He’ll throw another one on Sunday, and then we’ll see what we’re going do with him. He feels close to 100 percent. He threw the ball well. Obviously, it’s a lot different in the live BP with the adrenaline and all that. But we’ll do it again on Sunday and I do believe he’ll be with us soon, to be honest with you.


Julian Benbow can be reached at