Red Sox Notes: Alex Cora Blames Offensive Woes As Boston Falls To Yankees

Boston scored six runs in its last three games against the Yankees

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The Boston Red Sox averaged five runs per game entering their first series after the MLB All-Star break against the New York Yankees.

And between three games — most recently a 9-1 loss at Yankee Stadium on Sunday night — the Red Sox mustered just six runs in total. Four of those runs came in a 4-0 victory Friday night, the lone win of the series (thus far) for the Red Sox.

So while a seventh-inning collapse by the Red Sox bullpen Sunday ultimately did them in, the lack of production at the plate was what stood out most to manager Alex Cora. And it’s grown to be a theme, Cora indicated.

“We haven’t hit. We haven’t hit since the West Coast,” Cora said during a postgame video conference. “We’ve been chasing pitches. We’re in one of those stretches when we played in Houston, we love to swing the bats, but we’ve been chasing pitches out of the zone for a while. We’ve been chasing more pitches with men in scoring position, I think the percentage goes up.

“We can talk about the numbers, I think we’re hitting .220 as a group since that Friday in Oakland,” Cora continued. “So, you know, obviously we played some tough games on the West Coast, some tough games against (the Phillies), but offensively we’re not near the team that we are. We know that.”

The Red Sox recorded five hits as a team Sunday night. Xander Bogaerts was the only player with multiple hits and Boston was 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left nine runners on base.

Here are some other notes from Red Sox-Yankees on Sunday:

— Relievers Darwinzon Hernandez and Brandon Workman combine to allow four runs in the seventh inning as New York extended its three-run lead in large part because of five walks.

The five walks allowed by Hernandez and Workman in the inning were the most sense a 2014 contest against the Yankees, per the ESPN broadcast. It took 51 pitches to get out of the frame.

Hernandez allowed each of the four batters he faced — single, home run, walk, walk — to reach base. Workman threw a first-pitch strike to just one of the six batters he faced as he walked three with 14 of his 33 pitches going for strikes.

— It wasn’t a bad outing for all those in the bullpen, though, as reliever Garrett Whitlock did not allow a hit in two innings of work.

Whitlock now leads the majors with 16 scoreless appearances of more than one inning, according to Red Sox Notes.

— The weekend series got a bit more weird Sunday night.

The game (strangely) was paused in the seventh inning due to what was said to be some sort of light coming from center field at Yankee Stadium. Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez was the one who brought it to the attention of the umpires, but the game resumed shortly after.

“It was like a red light flashing in between pitches, then it was white,” Cora said. “No big deal, to be honest with you, but he noticed it right away during that DJ Lemahieu at bat.”

That incident comes after Saturday’s rain-shortened contest in which a Yankees fan threw a ball and hit Red Sox outfielder Alex Verdugo. That fan since has been banned from any Major League ballpark.

— Christian Arroyo was pulled from the game in the third inning after injuring his hamstring.

Arroyo’s injury took place as he stretched off the bag at first base, essentially doing a split, in hopes of securing a Red Sox double play. He immediately clutched his hamstring and came up gingerly before heading to the dugout.

Cora said it could be something that lands Arroyo on the injured list for a third time this season.

“It’s most likely an (injured list) thing,” Cora said. “He just felt it when he stretched.”

— Martín Pérez allowed three runs on five hits in four innings Sunday. He recorded five strikeouts with one walk. Pérez now falls to 7-6 on the season.

— The Red Sox travel to Buffalo on Monday for a three-game set with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Boston Red Sox second baseman Christian Arroyo
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