Alex Verdugo placed on paternity leave; two key Red Sox return


Alex Verdugo is having quite the weekend.

The Red Sox outfielder hit a home run Saturday to help Boston earn a 2-1 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays. On Sunday, he boarded a plane to be present for the birth of his child.

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The Red Sox placed Verdugo on paternity leave Sunday, and manager Alex Cora said the 25-year-old will be away from the team for a few days.

Boston will get two roster reinforcements Sunday in J.D. Martinez and Jarren Duran, who were reinstated from the COVID-19 related injury list and both are in the lineup for Sunday's series finale against Toronto.

Duran and Martinez were placed on the COVID-19 list Friday and Saturday, respectively. Boston optioned catcher Connor Wong to Triple-A Worcester on Sunday to make room for Duran and Martinez.

Verdugo had been a lone bright spot for the Red Sox lately with nine hits in his last five games. Boston went 2-3 in that span and has dropped nine of its last 12 games, so the team will look to Duran and Martinez to provide an offensive boost Sunday against Toronto.

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