Red Sox

Alex Cora believes Mookie Betts could end his slump with one swing

Alex Cora believes Mookie Betts could end his slump with one swing

NEW YORK -- Alex Cora thinks Mookie Betts is close.

The right fielder has spent the bulk of the season in a slump, and his average dipped to .212 following Tuesday's night's 0-for-3 performance in an 8-0 loss to the Yankees that left Betts once again searching for answers.

But speaking to reporters before the series finale Wednesday night, Cora explained why Betts might not be as far away as he thinks.

"I just think he's off right now," Cora said. "The cool thing about those guys, the special ones, it takes one swing to get back to it. Like I said, I'm not going to be surprised if then all of a sudden, today in the first at-bat, boom, he puts a good swing on it and from there he clicks. So, I don't think he's putting pressure on himself. I just think like right now he's off a little bit. He's missing his pitch. He's falling behind in counts and they're pitching to the edges, they're expanding, it's all that stuff going on right now. But like I said, with those special guys, one swing might get them. One swing in the cage, or one swing in BP, or one swing in the game. Then they take off."

Betts' struggles actually extend to last year's postseason, where he hit .210 with one home run. He has looked in the dugout in the middle of at-bats for feedback on his mechanics, a sure sign that things aren't going well.

He has also spent more time discussing his struggles than anyone would like.

"As you guys know, I keep telling them, don't get caught up on the whole noise," Cora said. "I told them that last year and it's the same this year. Don't get caught up on whatever is going on outside our world. I don't feel like that's the case. He's just searching. He's searching. And it's uncomfortable to have fun in this game when you don't feel comfortable at the plate. We don't want to take away the joy of the game and all that, but sometimes it's hard to smile and to have fun when you don't feel right."

Cora added that dropping Betts from leadoff to the No. 2 hole -- now widely accepted as the best place for your best overall hitter -- is not impacting him. Betts was back in the leadoff spot on Wednesday with Andrew Benintendi sitting against Yankees lefty J.A. Happ.

"He got some pitches yesterday that he put some good swings on," Cora said. "I feel like he's getting close. He's getting close. We'll keep staying with what we think is going to help and is going to make us a good offensive club, but I don't think it's the order leading off, hitting second, hitting third. I don't think it matters, I think it's just him trying to find his swing and I do feel like he's getting closer."
 

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Watch Red Sox rookie Michael Chavis' hot streak continue with huge home run

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USA TODAY Sports

Watch Red Sox rookie Michael Chavis' hot streak continue with huge home run

Michael Chavis' run for American League Rookie of the Year took another positive step forward in the Boston Red Sox's game against the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday afternoon.

Chavis crushed a two-run home run, his second blast in as many days, deep to left field at Rogers Centre to give Boston a 6-2 lead in the third inning.

It was Chavis' ninth home run of the season, tying him with J.D. Martinez for the second-most on the team. Chavis, however, has accumulated these home runs in 19 fewer games than Martinez.

The former top prospect entered Monday's matchup in Toronto with a .290 batting average, 22 RBI and a .389 on-base percentage in 25 games this season. He's collected multiple hits in four of his last six games, including 10 hits overall during that span.

Chavis, at least so far, has been hitting at a better rate than Blue Jays outfielder Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who is considered one of the elite prospects in baseball.

It's obviously very early into Chavis' career, but his impressive development has been among the most encouraging aspects of Boston's 2019 season. Winning the AL Rookie of the Year quickly is becoming a very attainable goal for the talented infielder.

Betts focused on another World Series title, not next contract>>>

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Highlights from Red Sox's 12-2 win over Blue Jays

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Highlights from Red Sox's 12-2 win over Blue Jays

FINAL SCORE: Red Sox 12, Blue Jays 2

IN BRIEF: David Price holds Toronto to zero earned runs over five innings, and the Red Sox offense bangs out 12 runs on 16 hits, including four home runs, as Boston opens the four-game series with a 12-2 win at Rogers Centre.

BOX SCORE

RED SOX RECORD: 25-22

HIGHLIGHTS:

1st Inning

Rafael Devers gives Red Sox early lead with RBI single to right (1-0 BOS)

Xander Bogaerts scores on throwing error (2-0 BOS)

2nd Inning

Luke Maile ties game with two-run HR to left (2-2)

3rd Inning

Xander Bogaerts puts Sox back on top with two-run single to left (4-2 BOS)

Michael Chavis blasts 9th home run of the season to left (6-2 BOS)

5th Inning

Rafael Devers makes slick defensive play at third base 

David Price retires the final 10 batters he faces in a 67-pitch outing (5 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K)

6th Inning

Jackie Bradley Jr. homers for the first time since Game 3 of the World Series (8-2 BOS)

Brandon Workman strikes out two in a 1-2-3 inning

7th Inning

Rafael Devers drives in Mitch Moreland with RBI single to right (9-2 BOS)

Steve Pearce tacks on another run with SAC fly to center (10-2 BOS)

9th Inning

Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers go back-to-back off Ryan Tepera (12-2 BOS)

Hector Velazquez finishes up four no-hit innings from the Red Sox bullpen

UP NEXT
@ Blue Jays, Tuesday, 7:07 p.m., NESN
@ Blue Jays, Wednesday, 7:07 p.m., NESN
@ Blue Jays, Thursday, 12:37 p.m., NESN

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