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Red Sox’s Alex Cora, Reese McGuire explain ‘bad baseball play’ to end game

Dec 02, 2023

The Toronto Blue Jays celebrate after defeating the Boston Red Sox in a baseball game, Saturday, Aug. 5, 2023, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)AP

BOSTON — Red sox manager Alex Cora described it as “a bad baseball play.”

Reese McGuire inexcusably got doubled off second base when Connor Wong hit a 358-foot flyout to left-center field with two runners on base in the bottom of the ninth. Center fielder Kevin Kiermaier leaped in front of the Green Monster to make the catch, then threw into second baseman Santiago Espinal for an 8-4 double play to end the game. The Red Sox lost 5-4 at Fenway Park.

McGuire, who represented the tying run, rounded the third base bag instead of holding up between second and third base to see if Kiermaier would catch it or not. Red Sox third base coach Carlos Febles, meanwhile, had his eyes on Luis Urías, the runner at first base, who represented the winning run.

“I think we all missed that one,” Cora said. “I think Reese took off and then Carlos was looking at Urías. Everybody thought it was going to be off the wall and it was a bad play — a bad baseball play.”

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Cora said he thought Wong homered when the ball left the bat. Wong connected on a slider from Erik Swanson who had given up three straight singles with one out.

“We all thought it was gone,” Cora said. “Reese from the get-go. I was just talking to him. He thought it was gone. And then Carlos, he was looking at Urías. He just missed that one.”

The Red Sox (57-53) have dropped six of their past seven games. They are four games behind Toronto for the final Wild Card spot. Both the Mariners and Yankees are ahead of Boston and behind Toronto for the final Wild Card.

“The trajectory that I saw it — I’ve been on second base plenty of times and seen a ball hit up off the Monster,” McGuire said. “That one looked like just another one of those. So I put my head down a little bit. I started running toward third. I was getting ready to round it and I did. I just ended up making a wrong read there.”

McGuire knows he likely would have scored on a ball hit off the wall if he had held up between second and third base.

“I think there was no reason for me to round it there but I just got a bad read at second, I guess,” McGuire said.

“I couldn’t believe it didn’t get to the wall at least,” McGuire added. “To be honest, I thought it was a home run off the bat — at least up, off the wall. So that just tells me I got a bad read. And it was a tough break right there. We had momentum and we were putting together good at-bats against Swanson. We were getting ready to potentially walk it off.”

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