Morning Sports Update

Alex Cora joked about the real reason he left Red Sox starter Nick Pivetta in for the complete game

"He had that look."

Alex Cora Nick Pivetta
Alex Cora congratulates Nick Pivetta after his complete game win. Jim Davis/Globe Staff

The Red Sox defeated the Astros 5-1 on Wednesday behind Boston starter Nick Pivetta’s complete game two-hitter. Tonight, the Red Sox host the Mariners in the start of a four-game set at 7:10 p.m.

Also tonight, the Celtics are in Miami to face the Heat in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals at 8:30 p.m. Boston trails in the series 1-0.

Alex Cora’s explanation: During the Wednesday Red Sox win over the Astros, a moment came when Boston manager Alex Cora had to decide whether or not he wanted to leave starting pitcher Nick Pivetta in the game.

Though conventional wisdom has come to accept that a starting pitcher shouldn’t go too deep into a game anymore, Cora let Pivetta keep going against Houston’s lineup. Eventually, Pivetta threw 112 pitches as he finished a two-hit gem to give Boston a win.

Afterward, Cora admitted that it had more to do with Pivetta than any statistical analysis.

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“The way he was looking at me, I was like, ‘I’m going to stay away. He might kill me,’ ” Cora joked. “He had that look. He had it.”

In actuality, Cora also had specific baseball reasons for his decision.

“It seems like they were late on the fastball, he had a good breaking ball going, a good slider,” Cora noted of Pivetta’s stuff. “Amazing. This is why you love baseball.”

Trivia: Nick Pivetta’s complete game was the first for the Red Sox since Chris Sale in 2019. It was also the first at Fenway Park for a Boston pitcher since Aug., 2018. Name the pitcher from that start.

(Answer at the bottom).

Hint: The 2016 American League Cy Young Award winner.

More from Boston.com:

Don Sweeney on his future: The Bruins’ general manager said he’s only under contract for “right now.”

A debate about Jimmy Butler against the Celtics:

On this day: In 2008, Jon Lester threw a no-hitter in a 7-0 Red Sox win over the Royals.

Daily highlight: Enjoy all 15 goals from the Flames’ 9-6 win in Game 1 of the second-round playoff series against the Oilers.

Trivia answer: Rick Porcello

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