Red Sox outfielder Alex Verdugo accepted Boston manager Alex Cora’s decision to scratch him from the lineup before a pivotal contest against the Blue Jays at Fenway Park on Saturday.

Verdugo, for an unknown reason, was originally listed on Boston’s starting lineup, but then removed ahead of first pitch. That topic of discussion was revisited after the Red Sox dropped a second consecutive game to Toronto, losing 5-4 as Verdugo watched from the dugout. And in response, the 27-year-old, while vague, looks to put aside whatever went down and look ahead as Boston sits four games behind in the American League Wild Card race.

“Just manager’s decision. We’re gonna leave it at that and just be ready to play tomorrow,” Verdugo told reporters, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “… I don’t really wanna go too far into it. It’s just, it’s his decision, that’s what we went with and obviously I wanna be available and I wanna help in big parts and I wanna help this team win. All we could do now is look forward to tomorrow, come here and be ready to play.”

Boston replaced Verdugo with right-handed bat Adam Duvall in right field, taking a left-handed bat out of the lineup while going up against Toronto’s José Berríos — a right-handed pitcher. Verdugo is also a career .350 hitter, having gone 7-for-20 with a home run and a double, when facing Berríos.

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Yet, none of that mattered. The Red Sox allowed the Blue Jays to take over in Boston, rack up 14 hits for a second straight time, and score 12 runs in two days at Fenway Park — dropping the Red Sox to dead last in the AL East.

Cora, who’s a loss away from watching the Red Sox squander a golden opportunity to begin their 10-game homestand, was visibly upset when addressing the manner. He noted that not everyone in Boston’s clubhouse was “available” — hinting at Verdugo.

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“I take responsibility, but at the end of the day, it’s his decision,” Verdugo said. “Whether it hurt the team or helped the team today, we don’t know, right? But I like to think that I help the team in different aspects. So, for me as a player, I wanna play. I wanna be out there every day and today was a little bit hard to watch.”

Both Verdugo and Cora clarified that this decision was unrelated to a disciplinary benching, the first of two this season, that occurred back in June against the Cleveland Guardians.

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“I take it on the chin like a man,” Verdugo explained. “I understand what I do and it’s time to get up and dust off your feet and then just go again.”

Featured image via Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports Images