Manager Alex Cora isn’t worried one bit about the Red Sox after Boston dropped both games of its doubleheader against the Chicago White Sox on Sunday.
The Red Sox had only four hits and fell 5-1 in Game 2 at Fenway Park after their narrow 3-2 loss to the White Sox in Game 1.
A nine-game win streak helped give Boston some cushion in the standings, and the team still has a shot to tie up the four-game series. Cora insists that’s the team’s mentality: looking at the season series-by-series.
“We’re going to be OK,” Cora said in his postgame media availability. “We’re going to run into stops like this, right? And it happens. Tomorrow is going to be a tough one too, I think for everybody. But we’ve just got to grind, and all go back to you using the whole field. But either way, I do believe in the first game we hit a few balls hard that can change the game but they played good defense. But the second game, it was hard. It was hard.
“We got a chance to split the series (Monday) and we got Nate (Eovaldi) on the mound.”
The final contest of the four-game series is another day game. Cora believes getting players back to their normal routines will get Boston back on track.
“But it’s not an excuse,” Cora explained. “The way I see it, we have one more day to grind, right? And then, it seems like from Tuesday on, as far as the timing of everything, it’s like the regular season. We’ve been playing a lot of day games, we’ve been doing a good job, but it feels like okay, now we’re gonna play a lot of last night news again, we can reset. Get back to your routine of the regular season and go from there.”
Here are a few other notes from Game 2 of the doubleheader:
— Martín Pérez’s start was so-so, going 3 2/3 innings and gave up four earned runs off seven hits (including a home run) with no walks and four strikeouts.
But the Red Sox were happy that 41 of his 58 pitches were thrown for strikes. And obviously, four hits didn’t help much.
“He battled,” Cora said of Pérez. “He battled, and he was one pitch away from giving us a real chance to win, you know. We like the fact that he threw a lot of strikes. The changeup was okay today, wasn’t great, he went to his breaking ball. The breaking ball — we like it. But to put guys away, that’s not his pitch. He lives on dies up in the zone with a changeup, so good effort, but I don’t think we played good enough behind him.”
— For as good as the Red Sox’s offense has played, it was off in the doubleheader. Game 2 saw just four hits, making for 11 total Sunday. Boston had only one batter walked all day.
Cora thinks it’s a combination of how aggressive the team has been at the plate and by nature of always playing from behind.
“It’s something I noticed with us, right?” he said. “One base percentage is way up there, we were ranked number one in the American League. We haven’t been walking. But, same time, when we get pitches to hit we’re not missing them. So it’s a combination of both. We like to swing the bat, we like to control the strike zone. There are certain guys that we have to be more patient than others, and we’ll talk about it as a group.”
— We’ve seen the Red Sox make a lot of comebacks of late, but seven-inning games in the event of doubleheaders add a new pace to things, with fewer frames to chip away at deficits.
Still, Cora is in favor of the shorter games.
“There is just like that element of urgency. You get the lead, and you can work with the bullpen and tell the starter, he sees that it’s a sprint, to be honest with you. I don’t have to go five, I don’t have to go six or seven. I just got to get enough outs to get to the bullpen. It’s is a fun game, to be honest with you, regardless of the result. I do believe it’s good. It’s good for baseball.”
— The Red Sox have returned righty Tanner Houck to the Alternate Training Site following his Game 1 loss.
— As previously mentioned, Boston has one more shot to even things up with the White Sox. First pitch Monday is scheduled for 11:10 a.m.