boston red sox Outfielder Alex Verdugo was benched for Thursday night’s game against Cleveland after not being bothered during one play during Wednesday’s 5-2 loss to the Guardians.
Manager Alex Cora said Verdugo would return to the lineup against the New York Yankees on Friday.
The play that attracted the ire of Cora occurred in the seventh inning with two outs and Verdugo on first base.
Masataka Yoshida hit a slow bouncer to the right side of the infield and Verdugo, running at second, eased up, looked back and didn’t slide. A throw by Cleveland first baseman Josh Naylor struck out Verdugo to end the inning.
Cora immediately removed Verdugo from the game.
“There was one play in the seventh inning that I didn’t like,” Cora told reporters before Thursday’s game. “I don’t know if people noticed it or not. … We just felt like on that play, his reaction wasn’t great. Obviously he didn’t knock down the second one behind him. I don’t know if he was out or Safe but I don’t like it.
“There’s one thing with Duggy as a player this year, there aren’t a lot of things we can question. Defensively, he’s one of the best in the big leagues. Offensively, he’s solid. . Even base running, which is one of those things he needs to get better(et), he’s doing a good job. But obviously where we are, I use him as an example. Not doing it because we have to get better in many aspects.
“But yesterday, I felt like … this is not acceptable and he knows it. So I took him out of the game and then today he is not starting.”
Verdugo, 27, is batting. 286 with five homers and 24 RBI in 59 games. he is in his fourth season with red Sox After spending parts of the last three seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers
– Field Level Media