Sports

Boston losing streak makes Cora shave her beard

ATLANTA — Last in the American League East, the Boston Red Sox had to look in the mirror.

That’s where coach Alex Cora thinks he found the problem.

The Red Sox manager has shaved off the gray beard he grew before this season, hoping a new vibe will help Boston snap its worst five-game losing streak of the season. Cora arrived clean-shaven for the opener of Tuesday night’s two-game series at Atlanta, and he was keen to set his team’s 10-19 start in his new look.

“If we win 10 in a row, it’s up to me because I should have acknowledged it sooner,” Cora said with a smile.

After being limited to five combined runs and being swept in three games by the Chicago White Sox, Boston is 10 1/2 games behind the first-place New York Yankees. The Red Sox have lost 14 of 18 games.

Of course, Cora also changed her lineup. Trevor Story, batting .194, hit sixth instead of at the top of the lineup. Designated hitter JD Martinez batted third instead of fourth. Xander Bogaerts dropped one spot to fourth.

“Moving to the strong shootout, let’s see what happens,” Cora said. “We’ve got some capable guys, and they’re not hitting well. Hopefully moving some people around helps.”

Cora indicated that her shave was an impromptu decision. She didn’t have a beard or mustache before this season, and obviously that wasn’t working out.

“Yesterday I got up and took the family to the airport and decided to shave,” he said.

Cora insists that he is not as superstitious as many others in the game.

Cora said his brother, former infielder Joey Cora, would listen to the same song before every game. He said that he “went to the extreme”.

If the Red Sox go on a winning streak, expect a personal ban on facial hair to become a new routine for the manager.

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