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BOSTON — Alex Verdugo, an outfielder for the Boston Red Sox, was taken out of the starting lineup about two hours before the first pitch of Saturday’s 5-4 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays. This was the main topic of manager Alex Cora’s press conference after the game.
Cora turned down several requests from the media to give details, but he did say many times that it was “a manager’s decision” and that “we need to be available, and one of us wasn’t available.”
Cora was hired by the Red Sox in 2018. After Boston lost its second game in a row in this series, he told reporters that “we took a step back as a team today.” He later called it “one of the worst days of my time in this organization” and said, “I take responsibility.”
After the loss, Verdugo met with reporters outside the clubhouse and reaffirmed his loyalty to Cora and the club by saying, “It’s his decision, and that’s what we did.”
He said, “It’s up to the manager, and I respect his choice.” “Man, he’s our coach. I’m responsible for it, but ultimately, it’s his choice.”
On Friday night, Verdugo didn’t get a hit in a 7-3 loss to Toronto. This dropped his average to.270, and Rob Refsnyder came in as a pinch hitter. Cora said on Saturday that Verdugo should have been replaced on Friday because of the same problem that came up on Saturday.
Cora said, “As a manager, I have to take care of this.” “I’m taking care of the 26 guys on the team, and I decided he wouldn’t play.”
This season, 27-year-old Verdugo has eight home runs and 41 RBIs.
“Every day, I find ways to get better. “There’s always room to improve and grow,” Verdugo said. “It’s clear that I need to do better.”
Adam Duvall moved into right field to replace Verdugo. He went 2-for-4 and scored a run in the loss.
George Springer went 4-for-4 and helped the Blue Jays win. Brandon Belt hit a solo home run over the Green Monster and had the game-winning single.
The game ended with a double play when Connor Wong hit a drive that Kevin Kiermaier caught at the base of the left-center field wall and fired to second to double up Reese McGuire, who had run toward home and was standing at third because he thought the ball would be off the wall.
It was the Blue Jays’ eighth win in 13 games. They hold the third and last wild-card spot in the American League.
Rafael Devers hit his 26th home run, a long three-run shot that tied the game. This was Boston’s sixth loss in seven games, which dropped them to the bottom of the AL East.
On Sunday, the series’ last game, Toronto’s right-hander Chris Bassitt (10-6, 4.00 ERA) will start. After the loss, the Red Sox didn’t say who their opponent’s starter would be. They will now use Brennan Bernardino (1-1, 2.72), and Cora said there’s “a chance” that Verdugo could also play.
Verdugo said, “As a player, I want to play and be on the field every day.” “As for me, I’ll be ready on Sunday.
“I’m all set to go. “Shall we?”
The Associated Press helped with this report.