Alex Cora explains why he moved Mookie Betts back to leadoff

Rob Bradford
April 01, 2019 - 7:37 pm

OAKLAND -- Four games. That was the extent of Mookie Betts locking himself into the No. 2 spot in the batting order with Andrew Benintendi leading off. Now the pair is flip-flopping again, at least for the time being.

With Benintendi back in the starting lineup after starting on the bench Sunday due to a sore right knee, the left fielder is back in the No. 2 spot he inhabited for much of 2018 with Betts sliding back up to leadoff.

Benintendi said prior to the series opener against the A's that Alex Cora had given him notice via a text Sunday night that such a dynamic would be in play. He also noted that the Red Sox' manager warned the pair in spring training such a change might be made at some point.

"The most important thing is to stay in tune with them and let them know," Cora said prior to the series opener. "They really don’t care. When I talk to them they just want to hit which is great. You tell them in advance, start talking about it, start looking ahead. I think any combination is good. It’s funny because everybody thought the second hitter will get more RBI opportunities. Then in Seattle, the leadoff guy got a lot of opportunities. Those guys in the bottom of the lineup are getting on base too, which is great. Obviously, with time we’ll get another on-base percentage guy with the last three spots in the lineup. There are going to be a lot of opportunities there."

Here is the rest of the Red Sox' batting order with right-hander Aaron Brooks on the mound for Oakland:

Mookie Betts RF

Andrew Benintendi LF

Rafael Devers 3B

J.D. Martinez DH

Xander Bogaerts SS

Mitch Moreland 1B

Eduardo Nunez 2B

Jackie Bradley Jr. CF

Christian Vazquez C