Alex Cora became the 19th manager in Boston Red Sox history to win 200 games.
“It means a lot,” Cora said. “This organization has given me two chances to be a big league manager. I’ve got to thank everybody who was part of this process. The people in Boston, the family, the Red Sox and obviously my family. It hasn’t been easy the last 12 months or 15 months, whatever it is. But like I’ve said before, that circle, the Coras, they’ve been amazing.”
Cora’s family stuck by him and supported him while he served a season-long suspension in 2020.
“I think this is for them,” Cora said. “We celebrated a few years ago (after the World Series) and we had a blast. We had a tough year last year not only professionally but as a family. But they really stick with me, obviously. And I know they’re very happy.”
Cora said he didn’t know he reached 200 wins until he began receiving congratulatory texts after the game.
“This is not about me,” Cora said. “Without the players, without the organization, I’m not a big league manager. So this is more about them.”
The Red Sox laid down a rare bunt Wednesday. Kevin Plawecki bunted during Boston’s three-run second inning in Game 1.
Twins starting pitcher Kenta Maeda fielded the bunt and tried to throw out the lead runner heading to third base. But Maeda overthrew the third baseman, allowing Hunter Renfroe to score.
“I know people think when you bunt, actually, you’re not going to score runs in bunches,” Cora said. “If you look at run expectancy and win expectancy in that situation… you go second and third and the chances of winning the ballgame go up, actually. Maybe we don’t have a big inning, but that run at third base is huge. You score that one and the chances of winning the ballgame, they go up.’
Hernandez earns another hold
Darwinzon Hernandez recorded his third hold this season. He pitched a perfect sixth inning in Game 1 of the doubleheader. Doubleheader games are only seven innings. So it was like he pitched the eighth.
Hernandez did pitch a scoreless eighth inning in Boston’s 4-2 win over the Twins on Tuesday.
“It’s important because we know we’re one man down,” Cora said. “A big piece of our bullpen is missing, (Ryan) Brasier. So for him and JT (Josh Taylor) to start throwing the ball well, it helps us.”
Red Sox’s Hunter Renfroe has 21 Defensive Runs Saved during his career. He has 13 Defensive Runs Saved in right field, seven in left field and one in center field.
“I really take my defense seriously,” Renfroe said. “I really put pride into what I do on the defensive side and help the pitchers out as much as possible. I’ll run through a brick wall for them. I’ll do whatever I can to help the team win and keep a run off the board. I learned early on that if you’re not playing defense, you’re sitting on the bench. So I really worked hard in my early years in San Diego to be the best outfielder I possibly can. … I want to do the best I can for the pitchers because those guys are up there working their tail off to get outs for us. And I want to be out there and get outs for them. So I’m doing my part towards that. I go into spring training every year and work as hard as I possibly can to better my craft.”
Matt Barnes recorded his second save in Game 1. He still hasn’t allowed a run or hit in 7 innings. He has 14 strikeouts and two walks.
“A lot of competitive pitches. And that is something we’ve been talking about,” Cora said. “Not only this year but we talk about it in ‘19 in the second half.”
Cora said it felt like Barnes was a two-outcome pitcher (strikeout or walk) during the second half of 2019.
“There was no contact,” Cora said.
Cora said Barnes was trying to hit the edges of the strike zone too often.
“Matty, this is the most aggressive he’s been since I’ve managed him,” Cora said. “His fastball is a little bit different this year compared to other years.”
Christian Arroyo receiving first base reps
Christian Arroyo is receiving practice reps at first base.
“Christian is a good defensive player,” Cora said. “He’s been moving well the whole spring and here early in the season. Marwin (Gonzalez), I like the way he plays first base. So obviously when Bobby (Dalbec) doesn’t play, he’ll be the guy. Actually Christian is working at first base but I don’t think he’s ready to do that yet in a game.”
Remy tap dancing photo
Jerry Remy told a story during the NESN Red Sox broadcast Tuesday about how he took tap dancing lessons as a kid.
He sent NESN’s Tom Caron a photo — and Caron posted it on Twitter for all to see.
Brewer has right shoulder inflammation
The Red Sox chose Eduard Bazardo (from the alternate site) over Colten Brewer (who’s on the taxi squad) to be their 27th man for the doubleheader.
“Colten is a little bit banged up,” Cora said. “When he got here, he threw a bullpen and he didn’t feel good. So that’s the reason we went with Bazardo.”
Richards to make third start
Garrett Richards (0-1, 10.29) will start for the Red Sox in the series finale Thursday at 1:10 p.m. eastern. Righty Michael Pineda (1-0, 1.64) will start for the Twins.
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