Before Jonathan Arauz woke up the Boston Red Sox' offense, he needed to wake up.
The 23-year-old infielder was with Triple-A Worcester on Friday when the Red Sox placed Kike Hernandez and Christian Arroyo on the COVID-related injured list. Boston needed reinforcements fast, so it called up Arauz and fellow minor leaguer Yairo Munoz, who were in Buffalo playing the Triple-A Bisons.
The Red Sox gave Arauz a call around 1 p.m. ahead of their 7 p.m. game in Cleveland -- and literally caught him napping.
"I was actually sleeping in the hotel when they called," Arauz told reporters Friday night through interpreter Rey Fuentes. “They called at around (1 p.m.) just to let me know I had to get up in a hurry and get luggage real quick and get to the stadium as fast as possible, get on that bus to get over here."
The urgency was well-placed: The 200-mile bus ride from Buffalo to Cleveland would take at least three hours. Arauz and Munoz arrived at Progressive Field between 5 and 5:30 p.m., per manager Alex Cora, with Arauz batting ninth and playing second base.
Fast forward to the eighth inning, when Arauz smacked a go-ahead three-run home run off Indians reliever James Karinchak (after two failed bunt attempts) to jump-start a Boston offense that entered the inning with one hit.
"I was actually upset at myself," Arauz said. "During the first couple pitches, I didn’t get the bunt down. I just took some time to myself, kind of kept my head up and said, ‘All right, if I didn’t get bunt down, I have to move them over somehow. Move the runners. Get good contact. I need to do something to make up for missing the bunt.’
"And thank God I was able to put a good swing on that pitch and hit the ball out."
The home run -- Arauz' first in 17 games with the Red Sox this season -- lifted Boston to a 4-3 win. With Hernandez expected to miss some time due to COVID, Arauz might get more opportunities in Cleveland -- and skip that 200-mile bus ride back to Buffalo.