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Alex Cora forgot to take J.D. Martinez out for a defensive replacement on Sunday

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The Red Sox rallied for six runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to come from behind and beat the Rays 8-7 on Sunday, improving to 8-1. There was something a bit odd about the top of the ninth, though: J.D. Martinez stayed in left field instead of being replaced with a better defender. It didn’t end up mattering was closer Craig Kimbrel got a couple of pop-ups and a ground out to get the save.

Manager Alex Cora took the blame for not subbing out Martinez, Evan Drellich of NBC Sports Boston reports. He said, “I’ll be honest… the manager missed that one.” Cora added, “Why lie? I ask our guys to be genuine, transparent and responsible.”

As Drellich notes, Cora was caught up in the excitement of his team’s comeback that he just plain forgot to sub out Martinez. Cora also caught some criticism for not replacing catcher Christian Vazquez with a pinch-runner, but Cora says Vazquez is one of his club’s best base runners even if he isn’t the fastest.

It turns out Gabe Kapler isn’t the only rookie manager making mistakes in the early going.

CC Sabathia hopes to play one more year

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Back in May, Yankees starter CC Sabathia said he’d retire if the Yankees won the World Series. That still may be the plan, but he recently told MLB.com that he’s going to try to pitch in 2019, health willing:

“I’m start to start. I go out one start and feel like I can pitch five more years. I go out another start and I’m done. But if I can stay healthy — if my knee holds up — hopefully I’ll play one more.”

Sabathia is enjoying a nice late-career renaissance, having transformed himself from the dominant lefty he used to be to a crafty one over the past several seasons. Sabathia will turn 38 on Saturday, but he’s having another solid season. He has a 3.51 ERA and 1.27 WHIP over 18 starts.

Will a World Series decide whether he hangs ’em up? Will his knee? Guess we’ll know by November.