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October 17, 2018

Alex Cora

Houston, Texas - postgame 4

Red Sox - 8, Astros - 6

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Alex Cora.

Q. Can you talk about your defense tonight, the play Betts made and then Benintendi?
ALEX CORA: Outstanding. We do feel that we have the best outfield in the Big Leagues. The effort by Mookie on the ball at the wall, the effort on the Tony Kemp ball down the line and then Beni taking a chance there. Those three guys, when they're together, they're pretty special.

And that was an interesting game, to say the least. But I'm glad that we ended up winning. It was a complete team effort. And that's what it's all about.

Q. Given Craig's struggles in the postseason and even tonight, what gave you faith that he was going to be able to get that last out?
ALEX CORA: He's our guy. And it was Kemp and the top of the lineup. We've been talking about it the whole season. I know people were really anxious, 162 games and the first series, but we knew all along that something like this was going to come up and we trust our guy. He threw well. I know it didn't look pretty but we got 27 outs and now we move on.

Q. You had Price warmed up, it looked like. Was there a point you would have brought him in?
ALEX CORA: He was going to come in if the eighth -- if it was worse than what it was, whatever, if they would have scored two. He was going to come in if they would have scored two in the ninth because of the long inning. But it didn't happen. And now tomorrow he'll start.

Q. Can you take us through the specifics of the Betts catch, what you saw from the dugout, what you were told? And also what it was like between innings when he came in?
ALEX CORA: He went after the ball and Joe called it out right away. I saw the replays and I know the boundaries and all that. And I was pretty sure he was going to be called out. He didn't reach over the fence; he was actually parallel with the wall. That's the rule and we got the out.

Q. What was it like? Everyone seemed particularly excited.
ALEX CORA: It was right away, he called it right away. We were pretty sure that the call was going to stand.

Q. Describe your emotions through the Bregman at-bat at the end and what you saw from where you were?
ALEX CORA: We've been attacking Alex to the edges of the strike zone and he's put some good swings on it. He's been patient and he attacked a pitch up in the zone. He didn't barrel it. And Beni had a great jump. The way that game was going, after Josh made the play in right field, I knew something interesting was going to happen in that inning.

And Beni took a shot. Had a great jump. And he got it. And now we're up 3-1 against a tough team. We know who we're facing tomorrow. But we'll see what we've got tomorrow and see what happens.

Q. How big has Brasier been for you this postseason? Another five outs today after you get a short outing from your starter.
ALEX CORA: He's been amazing for us. He's a great story. Everybody knows about it. He was our closer in spring training at one point. I remember when he first came in, his first game this year, it was a 4-0 game, and he comes in and I tell the guys, hey, man, this guy is good.

They didn't even know who he was. They leave early spring training. Attacks the zone, gets swings and misses in the zone. Expands it and that was another guy that we knew in October he could give us multiple innings, more than three outs. And tonight he was outstanding.

Q. Have you gotten to the point where you expect Jackie to come up with a big hit every time he's up there?
ALEX CORA: I'm very proud of him, what he's done in the second part of the season and what he's done tonight and in this series. It's amazing. He keeps working on his craft, his swing. He understands now, he's staying through the ball, hitting the ball in the air. There's no more hitting line drives into the shift. Now he hits the ball in the air.

He's giving himself a chance, and like I said last night, all credit goes to him. He was the one, he found it and he's staying with his process and he's done an outstanding job.

Q. I remember from last series you said Sale kept trying to plead his case. How much do you think he'll try to do that for just an inning and would you consider it in any fashion?
ALEX CORA: No, not tomorrow. No chance.

Q. What's the feeling now that you're on the brink of reaching the World Series and eliminating the defending champs?
ALEX CORA: We know we're up 3-1. But they're a good team. They came back last year against the Yankees. They lost Game 6 of the World Series in Dodger Stadium and they won Game 7.

It's not over. We know that. But to have a chance to finish tomorrow, that's always good. We just going to show up tomorrow, get the information, play hard and see what happens.

Q. Was Barnes limited at all? Did you not want to push him too hard tonight?
ALEX CORA: No, just felt that that was his out right there. And we knew that we were going to extend Craig if the situation was right and that's why we brought him in.

Q. Were you thinking interference right away, and do you think they applied the rule properly -- Altuve's non-home run?
ALEX CORA: Right away, Joe calls it right away and I saw the replay. And I said, no way they going to overturn this, I was pretty sure.

Q. How do you explain the knack for the two-out RBIs? You had two tonight, 16 in the past three games?
ALEX CORA: They even mentioned it on the broadcast. We play in an era that you hit .210, you hit 35 home runs and drive in 70, and it's acceptable. And our guys, they put the ball in play. They take pride of that.

And when you put the ball in play good things happen. I now understand that sometimes a strikeout is just an out and there's certain situations that you burn off trying to put the ball in play and see what happens. And we've been doing that throughout the year. We've been pretty good with men in scoring position, but I think it's because they do put the ball in play.

Q. I don't believe Price has pitched on short rest this year. What gives you the confidence that he'll be able to go out and do his normal thing?
ALEX CORA: I had confidence in him coming in tonight in a tight game. We're good with him. He's prepared. He understands what's going on. He understands that Chris can't go tomorrow, and he's ready to take the ball.


FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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