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.