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Red Sox's Jarren Duran: Losing Inside-the-Park Grand Slam 'Most Hopeless Feeling'

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVJuly 23, 2022

AP Photo/Michael Dwyer

Boston Red Sox outfielder Jarren Duran responded to criticism about why he didn't try to retrieve a misplayed ball off the bat of Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Raimel Tapia, which turned into an inside-the-park grand slam Friday night.

Duran explained he initially couldn't find the ball in the air, which he called "the most hopeless feeling you could ever feel," and then saw Alex Verdugo racing over from left field.

"I just lost it in the twilight," Duran told reporters. "It happens. [Verdugo] was right there. Obviously, I should have taken a step or two. He was already going to beat me to the ball. I just didn't want to get in his way. ... Next time, I know to take one or two steps."

Toronto Blue Jays @BlueJays

Completely fun and normal GRAND SLAM πŸ™Œ <a href="https://t.co/cAvX8pZiWN">pic.twitter.com/cAvX8pZiWN</a>

It was one forgettable moment in a night full of them for the Red Sox as the Blue Jays rolled to a 28-5 blowout win at Fenway Park.

Tapia actually stood at home plate showing frustration for a few seconds thinking he'd popped out to end the inning and the bases-loaded threat, and he still managed to round the bases without a close play at the plate, illustrating how wild the play was.

"It was very, very emotional," Tapia said. "That's the way we are. We celebrate everything here. We were very happy about it. It was just great, that celebration in the dugout."

MLB's Sarah Langs noted it was the first inside-the-park grand slam since Michael A. Taylor accomplished the feat with the Washington Nationals in September 2017. Taylor now plays for the Kansas City Royals.

The 28 runs represented a franchise record for the Blue Jays, surpassing the previous mark of 24 set in June 1978. They finished the game with 29 hits, also a new franchise high, and five walks.

"Hopefully, there's a little bit of rollover into tomorrow," manager John Schneider said. "Obviously, the guys are comfortable, and hitting can be contagious. You just ride the wave a little bit. It's obviously an outlier night, but you take it and run with it."

Toronto is going to need its offense to carry the load in the season's second half. It holds the third and final wild-card spot in the American League with a 51-43 record, but there are four teams within 4.5 games as part of the crowded AL playoff race.

Boston (48-46) is one of the clubs in the chasing pack, but the highly competitive nature of the AL East with the recent rise of the Baltimore Orioles will make it tough on all of the division's five teams, including the MLB-leading New York Yankees (65-30), down the stretch.

The good news for the Red Sox is they don't have to wait long for a chance to wash away the memories from Friday night as the teams are right back in action at 4:10 p.m. ET on Saturday for the second matchup of the three-game series.

Kutter Crawford (2-2, 4.50 ERA) and the rest of the Boston staff will look to slow down the Blue Jays offense. Alek Manoah (10-4, 2.28) takes the mound for Toronto.

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