Red Sox Notes: Alex Cora Raves About Tanner Houck’s Elite Outing
Coming off a night in which the Boston Red Sox were restritcted by their pitching struggles, Tanner Houck came through to open a three-game series with the Los Angeles Angels.
The right-hander made his case to remain in Boston’s rotation, doing so in elite fashion. Houck put Boston in the position to succeed from the jump, giving the Red Sox six innings against the Angels while allowing just one run off three hits and two walks with eight strikeouts. Unlike numerous previous ocassions, Houck remained posise in the later outings which gave Boston’s bullpen a major sigh of relief.
It also earned some well-deseved credit from Red Sox manager Alex Cora following Boston’s 2-1 loss.
“He gave us a chance to win and that’s what we ask for,” Cora told reporters, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “And little by little, stuff wise, he’s one of the best we have. And we talked about it in spring training. He’s gonna pitch a lot of innings. If he was a reliever, a starter, he was gonna pitch a lot of innings. Right now, he’s one of our best starters.
With Cora having several avenues to consider before making shifts to Boston’s pitching rotation, Houck assured that he wouldn’t go out without a fight. Houck tossed 55-of-83 pitches for a strike, registering his strongest outing of the campaign — the first in which Houck allowed just one run to an opposing offense.
“I think velo was good, the action in the pitches was good, the split was really good too,” Cora said. “… When you got so many weapons, sometimes it’s like, you gotta be careful, right? You go to the buffet and you like everything, but you cannot eat everything, right? You gotta be careful or you start gaining weight like me. What works that day, that’s what he’s gonna use.”
Here are more notes from Monday’s Red Sox-Angels game:
— Angels superstars Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani combined to go 0-for-5 with four strikeouts against Houck.
“Obviously two of the best hitters in the game. Go out there and just treat them like anyone else,” Houck told reporters, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “Get strike one, strike two, put yourself in advantage counts. That’s all you can really do. So, worked out in my favor.”
— Boston had just two runners in scoring position, going 1-for-2 with the only source of run production credited to outfielder Masatak Yoshida. The Red Sox lineup also only recorded one extra-base hit — a double — which came off the bat of Connor Wong.
— Yoshida went 2-for-3 with a pair of singles and extended his hitting streak to six games.
— Boston is 2-2 in their West Coast road trip after kicking it off 2-0 against the San Diego Padres.
— The Red Sox will continue their three-game set with the Angels on Tuesday night. The second of three from Angel Stadium is scheduled for 9:38 p.m. ET, and you can watch the game, along with an hour of pregame coverage, live on NESN.
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