Red Sox manager Alex Cora rang in his 43rd birthday with a press conference.
“That was an interesting game, to say the least,” Cora told reporters at Minute Maid Park during Thursday’s wee morning hours. “But I’m glad that we ended up winning.”
It was almost 2 a.m. Thursday when the Red Sox pulled off a thrilling 8-5 win in Game 4 of the ALCS against the Houston Astros. After four hours and 33 minutes of baseball — featuring a controversial fan interference call by umpire Joe West, a two-run homer by center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr., and a diving, game-saving catch by left fielder Andrew Benintendi — the Sox were one win away from clinching a spot in the World Series.
Twenty hours later, they got their shot, and, after another three hours and 32 minutes of baseball, it was just before midnight Thursday when the Red Sox punched their ticket. They clinched both Games 4 and 5 on October 18, their manager’s 43rd birthday.
“It was a great day,” Cora said shortly after midnight Friday. “It was a great day.”
Trading in a gray hoodie for a soon-to-be-champagne-soaked league champions tee, the rookie skipper started his second day as a 43-year-old the same way he had started his first: with another press conference.
“We won two on my birthday,” he told reporters. “I’ll take it.”