The Boston Red Sox will be tested early in June with series against the Atlanta Braves, Philadelphia Phillies and New York Yankees.

But Red Sox manager Alex Cora isn’t thinking about that yet.

He’s just trying to focus on Boston’s upcoming four-game set against the Detroit Tigers, which starts Thursday at Fenway Park with Nick Pivetta and Jack Flaherty squaring off on the mound. And to keep his attention on the Tigers alone, Cora channeled legendary New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.

“I’m going to sound like Bill here: onto the Tigers,” Cora told reporters after Boston’s road loss Wednesday night to the Baltimore Orioles. “We got to play good against the Tigers. That’s where we’re at. We cannot look ahead. We know we have guys coming back and that’s in a few weeks or a month or whatever. We have to grind with the people that we have here. (Friday) we face one of the best pitchers in the big leagues. He’s done an amazing job and we have to go out there and grind with them and try to win a ball game.”

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Flaherty’s 1-4 record and 3.84 ERA don’t tell the full story of what he’s done on the mound in his first season with the Tigers. He’s recorded 81 strikeouts in 61 innings to give him the second-best strikeout-per-nine ratio in all of baseball.

The Red Sox, who own a 28-28 record and sit in third place in the American League East, will look to be up to the task even as they put one of their top sluggers on the 10-day injured list Wednesday.

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And Cora has some extra motivation going into the matchup, too, since his older brother, Joey, is the Tigers third-base coach.

“We just got to make sure we stay in the hunt because we will pitch,” Cora said. “Some kids are making strides. Vaughn (Grissom) is putting good at-bats. (Ceddanne) Rafaela is getting better. Just keep grinding with them. We got a big series this weekend with the Tigers for bragging rights. So, let’s win the series and be happy in the household.”

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The first game of the series between the Red Sox and Tigers is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET. You can watch the game, plus an hour of pregame coverage, on NESN.

Featured image via Tommy Gilligan/USA TODAY Sports Images