The Red Sox had several chances to do damage Saturday, but they missed some of the biggest opportunities presented to them.
Boston left the bases loaded twice, stranded 10 base runners and struck out 12 times in Game 3 of their four-game set against the Texas Rangers. The Red Sox wound up losing 8-6 and now are behind 2-1 in the series.
If Boston wants to remain atop the American League East, they cannot continue to miss big opportunities against teams like the Rangers, who sit at the bottom of the American League West. Red Sox manager Alex Cora emphasized this point after the game.
“When you’ve got a chance to put a team away right there, bases loaded and no outs and we don’t score… Jeff Reboulet used to say that the other team is going to score 85% of the time if you don’t score there,” Cora said during his postgame press conference. “So I don’t know if that’s true … but we had a chance to put them away when we didn’t. We had traffic all over the place today, I know we scored some runs, but we had a chance to score some more.
“… We have to do a better job,” Cora later added. “And it seems like we’re getting there, right? Christian (Vázquez) went the other way, Hunter (Renfroe) went the other way, (Christian) Arroyo went up the middle, so in those situations, they’re not going to give in. They’re not going to throw you something you’re going to have so you can so you can pull for power. It seems like everyone is staying away from us. So get on top of the fastball and go the other way and just keep getting our hits and keep the line moving. We got to that point, right? We had bases loaded with no outs, but we didn’t do the job to finish it up.”
Cora is not sweating this performance too much, though. He thinks the team’s bats will find their rhythm again soon.
“We’ll keep working and at one point they’re going to start swinging the bat well,” Cora said. “Hunter put a big swing on it and gave us the lead and the line drive to right to start the eighth. So we’ll keep working with them and they’re going to be OK.”
Here are some more notes from Saturday’s Red Sox-Rangers game:
— Red Sox fans will have to wait a little longer for a more in-depth update on Rafael Devers.
The third baseman appeared to hurt his shoulder during his final at-bat of the evening, which prompted Cora and another team trainer to immediately emerge from the dugout. Devers ultimately stayed in the game, but struck out.
Cora didn’t add much of an update after the game, but did say Devers felt something in his shoulder. He did not seem too concerned, though.
“I’m going to talk to him in a little bit,” Cora said, “but it happened before (earlier this season). I’ll check with him and see what we have.”
— Eduardo Rodriguez did not have his best stuff Saturday night. The southpaw gave up four earned runs and eight hits on just 67 pitches in five innings of work.
Cora called the outing “a grind” for Rodriguez despite the low pitch count.
“They put (in) good at-bats,” Cora said. “His stuff wasn’t as sharp as before but he gave us five innings. They scored five runs, we had the lead, but I think today was a grind for him.”
Rodriguez agreed with Cora’s assessment.
“I was just missing too much of the plate,” he said. “That’s what I’m saying was the whole start today was missing too much of the plate.
“… They took advantage of it. I mean, they swung early. They were swinging at everything … I mean, if I got good pitches, good command, good location, it should have been strikeouts or ground ball outs, you know what I mean? So, that’s what I think happened there.”
— The Red Sox can split the series with the Rangers should they win tomorrow’s matinee. First pitch from Globe Life Field is slated for 2:35 p.m. ET.
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