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Notes: Arauz's big fly; Hall's sharp outing

@feinsand
July 18, 2020

Jonathan Arauz continued to make his push for a spot on the Red Sox roster, catching everybody’s attention with one big swing Saturday night. The Rule 5 pick clubbed a two-out, two-run walk-off home run against Zack Godley, the only runs scored in Boston’s four-inning intrasquad game at Fenway Park.

Jonathan Arauz continued to make his push for a spot on the Red Sox roster, catching everybody’s attention with one big swing Saturday night.

The Rule 5 pick clubbed a two-out, two-run walk-off home run against Zack Godley, the only runs scored in Boston’s four-inning intrasquad game at Fenway Park.

“I wasn’t thinking that,” manager Ron Roenicke admitted. “It surprised me. He sees the ball well, he’s got a nice, smooth swing. It was a good way to end that game.”

The Red Sox selected the 21-year-old Arauz, who was Houston’s No. 25 prospect per MLB Pipeline, from the Astros in December’s Rule 5 Draft. He must remain on the active roster for the entire 2020 season or be offered back to the Astros for $50,000.

“I’ve been with a couple Rule 5 guys that I didn’t think were going to be good Major League players; I think this kid has a chance to be a good Major League player,” Roenicke said of Arauz, who hasn’t yet played above Double-A. “He’s very calm at his age, he doesn’t panic, he’s got good hands; if you see him turn a double play, he doesn’t play like he’s 21 years old. That leads me to believe that this kid’s got a chance to be a good Major League player.”

Whether that will happen in Boston remains to be seen, but Roenicke has been impressed by what he’s seen of the youngster during Spring Training and now in Summer Camp.

“What he looks like right now at this age, if he continues, he should be a really nice player,” Roenicke said. “Being a switch-hitter, he’s got pretty much the same swing from both sides. He looks like he has power from both sides, he looks like he’s patient from both sides. ... I really like what I see; everybody does. If we didn’t like what we see in him, we really wouldn’t be thinking of holding on to him.”

Making their pitch

Matt Hall continued his solid camp with four scoreless innings in Saturday night’s intrasquad game. The left-hander allowed two singles and a walk against a lineup that included Andrew Benintendi, Rafael Devers, J.D. Martinez and Xander Bogaerts, retiring 10 of the final 11 batters he faced.

“He’s certainly in the mix,” Roenicke said. “That’s four good innings. He’s got the good curveball that everybody knows, but he’s got a nice changeup -- he got J.D. out in his last at-bat on a changeup -- and he throws his fastball, when he gets it in, it’s got a little cut to it. When he’s commanding the fastball, because those other pitches are good, he’s going to get people out.”

Godley, who gave up Arauz’s game-winning homer, was making his first appearance with the Red Sox since signing a Minor League deal with the club on Friday.

Godley found himself in a bases-loaded jam during his first inning after Devers bobbled a potential inning-ending double-play ball. The right-hander escaped by getting Mitch Moreland to hit into a 3-6-1 double play.

His second inning began with a leadoff walk to Tzu-Wei Lin, and while Godley retired the next two batters, he couldn’t finish the job, serving up Arauz’s home run.

“He hasn’t pitched since last Friday, so it was good to get him out there and get him two innings,” Roenicke said. “We just need to see him a lot. We’ll see what we have. It’s probably going to be some tough decisions there at the end.”

Godley will pitch again on Wednesday, throwing two or three innings in the exhibition game against the Blue Jays.

Mark Feinsand, an executive reporter, originally joined MLB.com as a reporter in 2001.