The Red Sox were aggressive in pursuit of the go-ahead run Sunday at Fenway Park, and their roll of the dice paid off.
Boston and New York were deadlocked at 4-4 with one out in the bottom of the eighth inning as Kiké Hernández stood 90 feet away from home plate. Xander Bogaerts lifted a weak fly ball to right field, and instead of playing it safe, Red Sox third base coach Carlos Febles instructed Hernández to tag up and take off for home. Hernández beat the throw from Greg Allen and slid under the tag of Gary Sanchez, giving Boston a lead it would not relinquish.
Base coaches don’t always receive their deserved praise, but Cora made sure to tip his cap to Febles after the game.
“That’s Carlos,” Cora told reporters, per MLB.com. “He does an amazing job, and (Hernández) is a good baserunner, too. Seems like (Allen) was a little flat-footed, too. So, we did it a few times early in the series, so why not there?”
The Red Sox were fortunate to have Hernández in scoring position in the first place. Had the versatile veteran gone through with the original plan for his eighth-inning at-bat, he might not have wound up scoring the game-winning run.