Alex Cora Identifies Key Mistake Made On Little League Home Run

The Red Sox made three errors in Wednesday's loss


September 14

It’s usually a play reserved for a Little League field, but the Boston Red Sox brought the ugly display of defense to the big-league diamond on Wednesday night against the New York Yankees.

A sharp single to right field by Gleyber Torres in the top of the fifth inning ended up being the pivotal play in the Yankees 5-3 win at Fenway Park. The Red Sox aided big-time in New York breaking a scoreless deadlock and plating three runs on a routine single by throwing the ball around. Alex Verdugo’s throw from right field to home plate was up the third-base line and couldn’t get Aaron Hicks, who scored the first run of the defensive debacle.

Catcher Connor Wong then threw the ball to first base where second baseman Kiké Hernández was covering with Torres trapped in-between bases. The only issue? Wong made a poor throw with the ball getting past Hernández and going up the right-field line. By the time Verdugo raced to gather it and make another throw to home plate, Aaron Judge had scored and Torres ran all the way around the bases to score as well to notch a Little League home run.

While many would point to Wong’s errant as the key to Torres scoring, Red Sox manager Alex Cora identified a minor detail that could have prevented the play from being so costly.

“(Christian) Arroyo was late to be the cutoff guy. He got there late,” Cora told reporters, as seen on NESN postgame coverage. “If he gets there earlier, he probably cuts it and we get the out at third base. It’s one of those, he’s learning the position at first. The reaction is different than at second or short and he was just a tad late. The throw was down, but we weren’t able to cut it. Kiké did an amazing job backing up and we had him there and Connor just threw it away.”

It was just Arroyo’s sixth game of the season at first base, so it’s tough to completely fault Arroyo, who is used to playing in the middle infield, for how badly the play turned out.

The throw by Wong was the second error of the inning and Boston committed one more miscue in the top of the ninth to allow another run to score — four of New York’s five runs were of the unearned variety. The defensive lapses ended up making a difference in the Red Sox not completing a late-inning comeback.

“We haven’t played bad defense in a while, but still we were in the game in the eighth inning and then we didn’t make plays in the ninth,” Cora said.

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