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Reversed call feels strangely familiar to Cora

Red Sox manager recalls similar play involving his brother
Special to MLB.com

OAKLAND -- For the record, Alex Cora agrees with the ruling that Andrew Benintendi was out of the baseline.

That's despite the fact that Cora remembers his brother, Joey, being ruled safe on a similar slide on a bunt single in a similarly momentous contest: Game 5 of the 1995 American League Division Series between the Mariners and Yankees.

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OAKLAND -- For the record, Alex Cora agrees with the ruling that Andrew Benintendi was out of the baseline.

That's despite the fact that Cora remembers his brother, Joey, being ruled safe on a similar slide on a bunt single in a similarly momentous contest: Game 5 of the 1995 American League Division Series between the Mariners and Yankees.

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You might remember that 11th-inning bunt single for setting up Edgar Martinez's legendary walk-off double that sent the Mariners to their first ALCS berth.

"I remember Joey sliding in 1995 against the Yankees," Alex Cora said. "He was out of the baseline and he was called safe. So it is what it is."

The circumstances were quite different, but the plays were nearly identical.

With the Red Sox down 3-0 in the sixth inning of Sean Manaea's no-hit bid on Saturday, Benintendi hit a soft ground ball down the first-base line. Manaea stumbled a bit getting off the mound, leaving first baseman Matt Olson to scoop up the ball and attempt a diving tag.

Video: BOS@OAK: Manaea escapes the 6th to continue no-hitter

Benintendi stepped around the tag and reached out with his left arm to touch first base.

Joey Cora's play happened on a drag bunt down the first-base line leading off the bottom of the 11th, with the Mariners down, 5-4, to the Yankees and their season down to its last three outs. Pitcher Jack McDowell was slow to get off the mound, and first baseman Don Mattingly had to field the ball in front of first and attempt a diving tag on Cora.

Cora also stepped around the tag and reached out with his left arm to touch first base.

Cora was ruled safe. Benintendi was ruled safe. But the umpires overturned the ruling on Benintendi, saying that he had stepped out of the baseline.

Both plays will be part of history. Cora went on to score the tying run, with Ken Griffey Jr.'s ALDS-winning run not far behind. Benintendi and the Red Sox were on the losing end of the 12th no-hitter in A's history.

While Benintendi remains frustrated about the ruling on his play, both Alex and Joey Cora seem to be at peace with the call.

"[A difference] is we were in the biggest game of the year," Joey Cora said. "[Benintendi's] is game 20. In [mine], the game was on the line in Game 5. It's a do-or-die situation. I think the rules have changed a bit from then to now. They didn't get the call, but I got the call."

Do-Hyoung Park is a contributor to MLB.com based in the Bay Area.

Boston Red Sox