Tensions did not rise for Alex Cora after the Red Sox kicked off their 2021 season on a sour note.
The Orioles, projected to be one of the worst teams in the big leagues this season, came into Boston and took all three contests of the three-game series between American League East rivals. The O’s emphatically put a stamp on the sweep Sunday afternoon when they pummeled the Red Sox 11-3 at Fenway Park.
Boston rebounded Monday, however, notching its first win on the campaign over the reigning AL champion Tampa Bay Rays. Behind a quality start from Nick Pivetta and an offensive outburst led by J.D. Martinez and Xander Bogaerts, the Red Sox cruised to an 11-2 win at Fenway Park.
The well-rounded victory helped diminish some concerns about the Sox that arose over the course of their underwhelming series against the Orioles. But as Cora explained after the series opener against the Rays, he did not feel a sense of pressure after his ball club stumbled out of the gate.
“Pressure? To be honest with you, there?s no pressure,” Cora said, per MLB.com. “This is a game, and we?re playing baseball in the middle of a pandemic. Of course we have a job to do, and we have our goals, but whoever feels pressure should think about that because there?s more (to life). And I understand where you?re coming from but at the same time … you just play a game to entertain people and in the middle of a pandemic. You?re blessed.”
The Red Sox will try to ride the momentum gained Monday into Tuesday’s middle matchup against the Rays. Martin Perez is slated to take the mound for Boston opposite Tyler Glasnow. NESN will have complete coverage of the game, which is slated to begin at 7:10 p.m. ET.