Red Sox

Alex Cora, Rick Porcello both take blame for loss to Astros

Alex Cora, Rick Porcello both take blame for loss to Astros

Rick Porcello's stellar outing against baseball's best team went one inning too long.

The Red Sox right-hander made it through seven scoreless innings with only 91 pitches vs. the Astros on Friday night, and that gave Alex Cora the confidence to leave him in for the eighth.

That turned out to be an unwise decision.

Red-hot Houston center fielder George Springer, who entered the game 9-for-18 with two home runs off Porcello in his career, drilled a two-run homer to give the Astros a 2-1 lead. The Red Sox went on to drop the first game of the series, 3-1.

Cora placed all of the blame for the loss on himself.

“That was a bad decision,” Cora told reporters. "That was a bad one from the get-go. That’s the best lineup in baseball. Every pitch is high-leverage. He did his job.

“We have the best player in baseball right now with a runner on second and no outs. That’s on me. That’s not on Rick. I just made a bad decision, put him in a bad spot and we paid the price.”

Porcello disagreed.

"I'm out there. It's on me," Porcello said. "He's got the confidence to leave me out there, I've got to do a better job I guess rewarding that confidence. It's 100 percent on me."

The Red Sox will look to even the series on Saturday night.

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Red Sox manager Ron Roenicke ready for MLB season despite being at higher risk of COVID-19

Red Sox manager Ron Roenicke ready for MLB season despite being at higher risk of COVID-19

Ron Roenicke isn't the average 63-year-old. He spent eight years in the big leagues and if anything has dropped below his playing weight of 180 in retirement. He remains lean and fit.

He also belongs to a high-risk group when it comes to Covid-19, the illness that disproportionately affects older populations. According to the CDC, over 90 percent of Covid deaths in the United States have occurred in people over 55.

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With spring training opening this week at Fenway Park and Roenicke back to work in Boston, the manager was asked in a Zoom call on Monday if he fears for his safety.

"I don't have a lot of concerns for myself," Roenicke said. "Of course I don't want to get this thing, but I think the protocols we've put into place have covered as much as we think we can cover. I think it's always uncomfortable. It was uncomfortable when I was home in California going to the grocery store. Anytime I left the house was uncomfortable. So that's going to be there. But our people I know have put so much into place in trying to protect myself, all the coaches and players, that we feel pretty good coming in."

As baseball prepares to enter the great unknown while gathering hundreds of players from all over the world to prepare for Opening Day in late July, safety protocols like daily heat checks, social distancing, and mask-wearing will become the game's new reality. Players are expected to arrive at Fenway on Wednesday and Thursday for Covid tests in the hopes that everyone will be cleared to begin workouts on Friday.

Roenicke underwent a test of his own on Monday and expects results by Wednesday. He looks forward to addressing his team in person as soon as it is safe to do so.

"I think whenever I'm allowed to talk to the guys as a group, I hope it's not on Zoom, because I really do want to look these guys in the face instead of having to do it through a monitor," he said. "But whenever we can and feel comfortable, probably in an outdoor setting, I'll address the different things that we all know can really hamper what we're trying to accomplish. It's not just worrying about keeping everybody safe and healthy, but we also realize we have a job to do and trying to get in shape and the challenge of trying to do both of those, and it is a challenge."

In the bigger picture, Roenicke trusts that baseball is doing everything it can to keep him safe.

"I'm really not that concerned," he said. "I still don't feel I'm old, I guess. I feel good health-wise. My doctors all say I'm healthy. I feel good that way. Obviously it's a concern, because you don't know how it affects different people. Whether you're 20 years old or whether you're 63 as I am, you still have to be concerned about trying to stay away from it and certainly the people that are older than I am, we're worried about them. . . . Hopefully we can stay as clean as possible. We know it's there. We know players are going to get it. So we'll just go along our business and try to figure out this very difficult schedule."

Red Sox announce three more undrafted free agent signings ahead of 2020 season

Red Sox announce three more undrafted free agent signings ahead of 2020 season

Less than a week after signing 11 undrafted free agents, the Red Sox were back at it again on Monday.

In a press release, Director of Amateur Scouting Paul Toboni announced the signings of three more undrafted free agents. 

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Here's the short list: 

  • Juan Montero, catcher, Puerto Rico Baseball Academy
  • Casey Cobb, RHP, University of Alabama
  • Henry Nunez, RHP, Centro Especializado De Educacion Avanzada Cedea

The total of 14 undrafted additions includes 10 pitchers (all right-handed), two catchers, and two infielders. The haul of young talent adds to their four draft selections from the 2020 Draft, which was shortened to only five rounds due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Sox had added four players through the draft since they lost one pick in the wake of MLB's sign-stealing investigation. Those players were 2B Nick Yorke, 3B Blaze Jordan, LHP Jeremy Wu-Yelland, and LHP Shane Drohan.