What Alex Cora and Alex Verdugo said about Verdugo’s benching

Red Sox

“Whether we see eye to eye every time, no, but it’s his decision, and I respect him very much.”

Alex Verdugo looks on as the Red Sox play the Blue Jays. Michael Dwyer/AP Photo

Red Sox manager Alex Cora benched outfielder Alex Verdugo prior to Saturday’s 5-4 loss to the Blue Jays, calling it a “manager’s decision.”

Cora said Verdugo “wasn’t available” and elected to not specify why. He reiterated that everyone needs to be available moving forward and was “very disappointed” with the way the day unfolded as a whole.

“This is probably one of my worst days here in this organization,” a visibly frustrated Cora said postgame.

He said the Red Sox “took a step back” as a team, adding that he feels responsible as a leader.

Verdugo, who hit .151 in July and is hitting .200 in August, was initially in the lineup. He was then scratched and ruled out due to an unspecified reason that doesn’t appear to be injury-related.

MLB.com’s Ian Browne reported that Verdugo arrived roughly two hours before the game started. When asked if he arrived on time Saturday, Verdugo said yes.

This was the second time he’s been benched this season.

“I don’t really want to go too far into it,” Verdugo said. “It’s his decision. That’s what we went with. Obviously I want to be available.”

He said he respects his decision, but he acknowledged it was a “little bit hard to watch” from the dugout as the Red Sox fell just short.

Verdugo said he takes decisions like this one “on the chin, like a man,” however he expects more from himself.

“Whether we see eye to eye every time, no, but it’s his decision, and I respect him very much,” Verdugo said. “I respect his decisions. He has a reason, so it’s fine.”

Cora said there’s “a chance” Verdugo will play Sunday.