Alex Cora wasn’t long for Saturday afternoon’s divisional clash at Yankee Stadium.
The Red Sox manager was ejected in the fourth inning of Boston’s eventual 9-2 loss to the New York Yankees. The visitors developed a gripe with home-plate umpire Mike Estabrook in the opening frame, and the frustration came to a head a few innings later.
After starter Chris Sale allowed his fourth hit — a go-ahead RBI single off the bat of Breyvic Valera — of the fourth inning, Cora made his way to the mound in order to gain Estabrook’s attention. As Estabrook broke up the “mound visit,” Cora lashed out at the veteran umpire and was told to hit the showers. It only got worse for Boston from there, as New York proceeded to score five additional runs before the fourth mercilessly came to a close.
Sale, who also was ejected following his brief outing, was the victim of a number of poor calls, but as Cora noted after Game 1 of the doubleheader, Red Sox hitters were as well.
“I didn’t agree with the call. I think it was the (Gio) Urshela one — 0-2 pitch on top of the zone. It was called a ball and after that it kind of like, snowballed,” Cora said, as seen on NESN’s Red Sox postgame coverage. “We didn’t make pitches and they put the ball in play. We didn’t agree with the strike zone. I let him know. There was one pitch to Xander (Bogaerts) — the 3-1 — we thought it was down. The strikeout on J.D (Martinez), we thought it was down. So yeah, I let him know.”
Cora continued: “Just to let him know, ‘Hey, you see all this traffic here?’ One pitch changed the whole game.”
Red Sox starting pitchers have been reeling of late, and Cora noted the tough calls only add to the frustration.
“I mean for me, yeah. I mean, it’s a strikeout. We thought it was a pitch on top of the zone. It’s a strikeout. It changes the whole complexion of the game,” Cora said. “But hey man, they’re human. They miss calls and sometimes we bark at them and then we look at the video like, ‘Oh, he was right.’ So, whatever.”
Boston is in desperate need of a break at this stage in the game, and it’s safe to say Estabrook didn’t do the club any favors.
Here are some other notes from Saturday afternoon’s Red Sox-Yankees game:
— Yankee Stadium has been a house of horrors for Sale this season. The left-hander has allowed 16 earned runs on 23 hits over the course of three starts (14 2/3 innings) in the Bronx. Andrew Benintendi, on the other hand, continues to find success in New York. The 25-year-old, who entered Saturday with six home runs and 17 RBIs in 26 career games at Yankee Stadium, pummeled a 436-foot home run in the second inning.
— D.J. LeMahieu has become a Red Sox killer. The veteran infielder led off the game with a solo shot and opened the contest wide open with a three-run shot in the fourth. LeMahieu owns a .353 batting average with three home runs, five doubles and 17 RBIs through 11 games against Boston this season.
— Cora previously noted he was likely to hold a team meeting prior to the series against the Yankees. This didn’t come to fruition before Friday’s contest, but Boston’s performance in Game 1 apparently called the plan into action.
— Sale unsurprisingly didn’t mince words when assessing Estabrook’s performance.
— Boston only has one won of seven games at Yankee Stadium thus far this season.