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October 10, 2021

Alex Cora

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Fenway Park

Boston Red Sox

Postgame 3 Press Conference

Red Sox 6, Rays 4

Q. Alex, can you talk about the job Pivetta did and the home run by Vazquez.

ALEX CORA: We were all in, and they know it. We text all the starters yesterday, and we put spikes on, and they understand what that is. We might do it differently than other teams, but when you get to that stage, you take it day by day.

He understands that, and he did an amazing job in Tampa. Today he was amazing. Very, very similar to Nate in Game 3 of the World Series a few years ago. He was locked in, good fastball, good breaking ball, with traffic, with no traffic, very emotional. These people, wow, that was better than Tuesday, to be honest with you. That was fun.

Christian, he works so hard on his craft. He cares so much about this organization that for him to be in that spot and put a good swing and hit the ball out of the ballpark, I know it means a lot to him. It means a lot to us. It was a big swing, but we're up 2-1. We've still got work to do.

We're in a great spot, but that's a good baseball team. Let's be ready for tomorrow.

Q. Alex, did you know that rule when the ball went out of play?

ALEX CORA: I didn't even ask. It was like automatic double. There's ground-rule doubles and automatic doubles. That's what they taught me on TV, and I guess it was an automatic double. I don't know. I haven't even checked.

Q. As Nick was coming off the field after every inning, he was obviously very emotional. Was there any concern on your part that he emptied the tank emotionally?

ALEX CORA: Not really. We've seen it before. We saw it in Oakland. We saw it in Tampa. There's been a few games that he just gets -- he goes somewhere else mentally and physically. He was locked in. He did an amazing job for us.

Q. 140 pitches in three days.

ALEX CORA: Yeah, he won't be available tomorrow (laughter).

Q. What does it say about Christian that he's not in the starting lineup today and still was able to stay that ready and do what he did?

ALEX CORA: He understands, but at the same time, he doesn't like it, and it's part of it. That's the competitor, the catcher, the guy that has been in this organization for a long, long time.

But at the same time, a few years ago, it was the other way around. It was Sandy with Sale and Porcello, and we decided to go with Christian in Game 3 of the ALDS. He knows it's a relay race, and as soon as Nate comes out, he'll be in. He was locked in behind the plate. We actually gave him an at-bat right away, and he put a good swing against Robertson, line drive to right center, I think it was, and he got on top of that one, and it was a big swing.

Q. When Robles came out, he came off with a trainer. Did he hurt himself in that last at-bat?

ALEX CORA: No, actually, he was feeling sick. After that, he went in, and he threw up and all that. He wasn't feeling great. That's why they called the trainer. We were going to take him out anyways in that spot right there, but he wasn't feeling great.

Q. Alex, do you know who you're starting tomorrow?

ALEX CORA: Not yet, but most likely it's going to be Eddie.

Q. And just given Christian's struggles at the plate throughout the season and kind of the inconsistencies from him, how big is it for him to kind of come through?

ALEX CORA: He has trouble against lefties, not against righties, and he has hit relievers pretty well. That's something we know. We've seen it throughout the season. He's been working hard on his swing lately. He's been doing a lot of the things that he did in 2019. He's been hitting the ball hard.

But as far as his struggles, it's mostly against lefties. We've been trying to figure out throughout the season because in '19 he was amazing against them. He's always hit them, but this year he has struggled. But as far as at-bats against righties, he's been very good.

Q. I know it seems like it happened like three days ago, but what was the reaction in the dugout when Schwarber did the doffing his cap?

ALEX CORA: That was awesome. That's who they are. That's what we do. Of course we wanted to make the first play, and after that he makes the play, and everyone was excited because he did it. He did what he did, and I think it was great. Sometimes we take this game too seriously, and you can actually not enjoy it. If you do that, and although we take it seriously, we also have fun with it.

We've been having fun for a long, long time although it doesn't look from other areas or whatever the people watch it, but we love the group. We love what we do. We're having fun, and here we are.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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