Red Sox: Jonathan Arauz makes an impression with three-hit night

Jonathan Arauz of the Boston Red Sox collects first MLB hits. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
Jonathan Arauz of the Boston Red Sox collects first MLB hits. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images) /

Red Sox infielder Jonathan Arauz collects his first major league hits.

It was a night to remember for Jonathan Arauz. The Boston Red Sox ultimately came up short in their late-inning rally against the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday but the young infielder was a silver lining found in defeat.

Arauz got a rare start at third base while Rafael Devers sat out to rest his sore ankle. The rookie had previously made only two starts for the Red Sox, both at second base, while going 0-for-10 to start his career.

His first trip to the plate ended with Arauz lining out to center. A harmless out during a second inning where the Red Sox were retired in order but the solid contact was a sign of things to come. It would be the last time that night that Rays pitchers would find a way to get him out.

Arauz led off the fifth inning with a single up the middle for the first hit of his major league career. He would quickly be erased on a fielder’s choice and the inning would come to a frustrating end when Xander Bogaerts hit into a double play with the bases loaded. A disappointing frame for the Red Sox but a memorable one for Arauz.

The seventh inning played out in similar fashion. Arauz started it off by getting on base with a single, bringing the tying run to the plate. The next two batters struck out followed by another fielder’s choice to end the inning.

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In his final trip to the plate, Arauz finally had the opportunity to do some damage with the bases loaded. He came through with another single to center field that drove in a pair to make it a one-run game. Unfortunately, the threat would end with Kevin Pillar hitting into – you guessed it – a fielder’s choice to wipe out Arauz at second base.

The three-hit night must be a relief for the rookie who no longer has the pressure of having .000 next to his name.

The Red Sox selected Arauz from the Houston Astros in the Rule 5 draft, meaning he must remain on the active roster (or injured list) for the entire season. Otherwise, they will need to offer him back to the Astros. It’s easier to keep a player like Arauz in this truncated 60-game season than it would be with a normal 162-game schedule. The change to allow an expanded roster of 28 players for the remainder of this unusual season strengthens his chances of sticking around.

He turned 22 years old this month and had never played above Double-A prior to this season. Arauz typically wouldn’t be in the major leagues at this point in his career but the unusual circumstances of this season have opened an opportunity for him to get a taste of the big leagues, while giving the Red Sox the opportunity to retain an asset from a Rule 5 draft they rarely take advantage of.

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The Red Sox aren’t counting on Arauz for a significant role this season but if they continue to fall behind in the playoff race, he’s among the young players they should give more playing time to down the stretch to see if he could factor into the team’s future.