Morning sports update: What Alex Cora had to say about the upcoming Red Sox trip to London

"It’s not vacation."

Alex Cora London Red Sox
Alex Cora during a Red Sox game earlier in June. –Barry Chin/Globe Staff

The Red Sox lost to the Blue Jays at Fenway Park on Sunday, 6-1. After dropping the series to Toronto, Boston now hosts the Chicago White Sox for a three-game set starting Monday at 7:10 p.m.

The United States national team continues in the World Cup on Monday, facing Spain in the round of 16 at noon. The winner advances to the quarterfinals to play host nation France on Friday.

On Sunday, Brazil was eliminated from the tournament after losing in extra time to the French. In the aftermath of the defeat, 33-year-old superstar Marta, the all-time leading scorer in World Cup history, made a moving speech in which she implored the next generation to keep growing the women’s game:


Alex Cora’s thoughts on the Red Sox going to London: After the three-game series at Fenway Park against the White Sox concludes on Wednesday (in a day game), the Red Sox embark on the long-planned trip to London for a two-game series against the Yankees.

It will be the first time a regular season baseball game has been played in Europe, with both games being played at London Stadium (a major fixture during the 2012 Summer Olympics and also the current home of the West Ham United Football Club).

Red Sox manager Alex Cora is already preparing his team for the logistics of international travel (the team will get Thursday and Friday off before the series begins on Saturday at 1:10 p.m. EST). He recently held a team meeting to discuss details.

“Logistics, tickets, dress code, all the activities that we have over there,” Cora told reporters of the London meeting. “At the end, it’s two meaningful games. Let’s not forget that.”

“Obviously it’s an important series,” Cora said in an interview with NESN. “It’s not vacation. I’ve been telling people, we’ve got business to do over there. We’re chasing the Yankees right now and those two games are important.”


Boston trails New York in the standings by eight games, and is also currently behind both Texas and Cleveland in the race for the second American League wildcard spot.

One aspect of the game Cora is attempting to plan for is the venue, which has never hosted baseball before.

“It something we have to talk about,” Cora explained. “Where we’re going to play comes into play, too. The dimensions are not great. It is what it is. We still have to pitch. But we have to be smart, too. We’ve been going over this trip for a while: the surface, the stadium, the logistics, and all that. All that stuff will come into play when we make decisions.”

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And the field won’t be the only difference. Instead of the usual home ballpark atmosphere of Fenway, the Red Sox will get a taste of English fandom.

Trivia: The last time the Red Sox played an international game was in Tokyo to open the 2008 season. In the first game, Boston defeated the Oakland Athletics 6-5 in extra innings. The Red Sox trailed in the top of the 9th when the game was tied by a solo home run. Which Red Sox outfielder hit the home run?

(Answer at the bottom.)

Hint: He was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates along with Craig Hansen as part of a three-team trade that July that sent Manny Ramirez to the Dodgers and brought Jason Bay to the Red Sox.

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