Before Mookie Betts, there was Alex Cora.
Betts thrilled the Fenway Park crowd Thursday night with a remarkable grand slam on the 13th pitch of an at-bat vs. the Toronto Blue Jays. It’s potentially a signature moment for these Red Sox, who have been a juggernaut under Cora this season.
But the Red Sox manager is also familiar with long at-bats ending in home runs, too. Back in his playing days, Cora did something similar.
On May 12, 2004, as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers, it was Cora who outlasted Chicago Cubs pitcher Matt Clement in an 18-pitch at-bat before hitting a home run.
It wasn’t a go-ahead grand slam, but it was still pretty darn impressive.
“As everybody knows here, I know about long at-bats,” Cora joked Thursday night in his postgame press conference. “I mean, 13 pitches, that’s nothing. If it’s an 18-pitch at-bat, that’s a long at-bat.”