Alex Cora continues to push all the right buttons for the Boston Red Sox.
After Cora’s lineup changes for Game 3 of the American League Division Series paid off and them some — including Brock Holt hitting for the first cycle in Major League Baseball postseason history — the Red Sox manager was right back at it for Game 4.
Despite Holt’s historic performance Monday, Cora opted for Ian Kinsler at second base Tuesday night with left-hander CC Sabathia starting for the Yankees. Well, it turned out to be a sound decision, as Kinsler smacked an RBI double in the third inning to make it 2-0 in favor of the visitors.
Kinsler wasn’t the only lineup tweak, though. Cora reinserted Eduardo Nunez at third base for Game 4, and the veteran infielder delivered, following Kinsler with an RBI single to boost Boston’s lead to 3-0.
We’re not done.
Arguably the biggest surprise in the Red Sox’s lineup Tuesday was Christian Vazquez, who hadn’t caught starter Rick Porcello at all during the regular season. Not only was Porcello sharp as ever out of the gate, Vazquez also provided some offense in the fourth inning when he took advantage of the short porch in right field at Yankee Stadium.
As such, Boston fans and media members alike were left watching in awe as each of Cora’s coaching decisions paid dividends.
Not too shabby for a first-year skipper.
Thumbnail photo via Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports