Red Sox News: Jarren Duran makes history, Tanner Houck dazzles, Larry Lucchino death

Boston Red Sox v Oakland Athletics
Boston Red Sox v Oakland Athletics / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages

When Jarren Duran got his bat on just the second pitch he saw from the Oakland Athletics' Joe Boyle, it was clear the Boston Red Sox were going to have a good night.

Boston's strikeout woes from Seattle were a thing of the past in Oakland and the Red Sox racked up nine hits and nine runs with quite a bit of help from the A's defense. And whenever anyone fumbles in the field, the fast-as-lightning Duran usually takes good advantage.

Duran zoomed around the base paths — each time the ball touched the ground, reached the backstop or tumbled out of a glove, the outfielder had advanced another 90 feet toward home plate. Duran collected three steals against the Athletics, placing him at five stolen bags just five games into the season, a Red Sox franchise record.

The outfielder also posted three hits and an RBI against Oakland, which is a nice night at the plate even without a helping of Red Sox history alongside it. It was hard to keep Duran off the bases and he flexed his prowess as a capable leadoff hitter as well as he did last season.

Red Sox Jarren Duran and Tanner Houck had career nights against the A's

Duran's stolen bags allowed the Red Sox easier shots at building their lead, which didn't come cheap against the Mariners' pitching staff in their opening series. Boston's starting pitcher may not have needed the help at all, though.

Tanner Houck rounded out the Sox's starting rotation on night one of the Oakland series and he was as locked in as the rest of his starter counterparts. The 27-year-old was one of Boston's fringe-rotation pieces during spring training, but he showed he earned his spot in his first opportunity.

Houck pitched six scoreless innings, struck out 10 batters and didn't issue a single walk against the A's. He is the only Red Sox pitcher ever to post such a stat line in a season debut and he tied his career-high 10 strikeouts in a game.

Houck's start also secured the Red Sox rotation some all-time recognition — Boston became the fourth team in MLB history to open a season with five starts of five or more innings, walk one or fewer batters, and post two or fewer earned runs, according to Alex Speier of The Boston Globe.

Duran and Houck were both on the periphery of the Red Sox roster at some point this offseason. Duran was almost shipped elsewhere in a trade and Houck was almost a reliever.

The two have helped Boston begin the season at a good pace, but there's a lot more baseball to go in 2024.

Larry Lucchino, former Red Sox president and CEO, dies at 78

Unfortunately, we must shift the tone to address some sad news. Former president and CEO of the Boston Red Sox Larry Lucchino has died at 78 years old.

Lucchino served as the Red Sox's CEO and president from 2002-2015. He was also chairman of the Worcester Red Sox and the Jimmy Fund. Lucchino arrived to the Red Sox organization with Tom Werner after ownership changed into John Henry's hands in 2002.

Lucchino worked for the San Diego Padres and Baltimore Orioles organizations before coming to Boston. He played a part in the rebuilding of Petco Park and Camden Yards during his tenure with each of the teams.

He oversaw the comeback of the franchise with World Series victories in 2004, 2007 and 2013 and was among the instrumental figures that made it all happen.

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