Red Sox’s Alex Cora Takes Responsibility For Alex Verdugo Getting Picked Off

Boston had first and third with no outs

by

July 12

After the Boston Red Sox surrendered a two-run lead in the sixth inning Tuesday against the Tampa Bay Rays, they had a chance to get it right back.

The Red Sox had runners on first and third following a double by Alex Verdugo and a single by Jeter Downs to begin the the top of the seventh, but a baserunning blunder derailed the golden opportunity.

Verdugo got picked off at third base, and with the threat severely mitigated after that, the Rays came out of the stanza unscathed en route to their 3-2 victory at Tropicana Field.

Following the contest, Red Sox manager Alex Cora explained that the Red Sox were trying to play small ball, which led to Verdugo getting thrown out. Cora said Franchy Cordero tried to put down a bunt with the purpose of advancing Downs to second, but when he pulled the bat back, Verdugo got caught a little too far down the baseline.

“We played a little bit different today and that’s on me,” Cora said as seen on NESN postgame coverage. “If anything, we don’t play that brand of baseball. With the personnel we had and where we were in the inning and the guys that were available and were not, we were trying to advance runners and he got picked off. My job is to put guys in situations to be successful and we haven’t played this brand of baseball in a while. Maybe that’s on me right there.”

Verdugo obviously wasn’t pleased with how the play finished.

“Nothing to go over, you guys saw it,” Verdugo said, as seen on NESN postgame coverage. “Got picked off. Trying to see the ball on contact, ball was up, catcher made a helluva throw. Got me out.”

The baserunning mishap compounded a disastrous bottom of the sixth, when the Red Sox committed two throwing errors on one play to allow the Rays to score the tying and go-ahead runs.

But for Cora, what occurred in the top of the seventh was more egregious.

“The thing that frustrates me is that inning, first and third,” Cora said. “We tried to do stuff that we usually don’t, but that’s where we’re at right now.”

Thumbnail photo via Raj Mehta/USA TODAY Sports Images
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