It took Jack López nearly a full decade as a professional to reach the majors. Needing three games to crack his first major-league hit was hardly a wait.
López, batting eighth and playing second base as the Red Sox continue fighting through a COVID-19 outbreak, ripped a two-out double to right-center off Cleveland starter Cal Quantrill in the second inning Friday night at Fenway Park. The ball, which one-hopped the short wall in front of the Red Sox bullpen, was retrieved for the 28-year-old.
López grounded out in the fourth inning against Quantrill, and was pinch-hit for in the seventh of the 8-5 Boston win.
A 16th-round draft pick of Kansas City in 2011, López reached Triple A in 2017, but never played for the Royals before becoming a free agent following the 2018 season. He spent 2019 with Atlanta’s Triple A club and remained in the organization through the lost 2020 season before signing a minor-league deal with the Red Sox in January.
Beginning the year with Double A Portland, he was quickly promoted to Triple A Worcester in May and jumped on an opportunity to play for the United States in the Tokyo Olympics. (López previously played internationally for his native Puerto Rico, but the island nation granted his request to play for the US going forward.)
López rejoined the WooSox after winning a silver medal, then became part of the taxi squad traveling with the Red Sox in case of COVID-19 emergency. He made his MLB debut in Wednesday’s win at the Rays, going 0-for-7 in two games at Tropicana Field.
He is the third position player to make his MLB debut with the Red Sox this season, along with Jarren Duran, who went on the COVID-related injured list before Friday’s game, and Connor Wong, who returned to the Red Sox on Friday when he took Duran’s spot on the active roster.