FORT MYERS, Fla. — Pitching coach Dana LeVangie’s lengthy mound visit with Red Sox reliever Matt Barnes during the fifth inning of a 4-1 loss to the Twins on Monday could be summed up in four words: “Stop tipping your pitches.”

LeVangie and Manager Alex Cora wouldn’t use the word “tipping” after the game, but Barnes did in explaining how so many quality pitches could get hit so hard.

Barnes surrendered two runs (one earned) on two hits. All the damage came before LeVangie’s visit with two outs. The next batter, Marwin Gonzalez, struck out looking.

Barnes initially said he wasn’t going to say what simple change he made at the behest of LeVangie, but when asked for specifics later in the interview session, he elaborated.

“I was tipping pitches,” Barnes said. “I was tipping. He told me, and I was able to fix it right away. It doesn’t matter how good your stuff is, if they know what’s coming, it’s going to get hit. I feel like stuff-wise today was great, and then the swings I got on pitches following the mound visit were more in line with how I felt about my stuff.”

LeVangie explained why he made the trip to the mound.

“Too many good swings were taking place for a guy who actually was throwing really well,” LeVangie said. “I don’t think we’ve seen that from Matt Barnes, where he’s throwing good pitches and they were having good swings. We had to have a conversation.”

The timing of LeVangie’s visit, as opposed to waiting until after the game to point it out on video, enabled Barnes to clear his head with positive reinforcement.

“It kind of salvages the outing for you in a sense,” Barnes said. “It goes from me wondering, ‘I feel like I’m making quality pitches. I feel like my stuff is pretty good today and I’m getting knocked around,’ versus, ‘OK, maybe that’s the reason. Now I get to instantly change that and be like, ‘OK, is my stuff actually where it needs to be?’ Those guys are plenty good. They don’t need to know what’s coming.”

ESPN ANNOUNCED programming to televise an exclusive Alex Rodriguez interview with Cora next Thursday night at 11 p.m. on ESPN 2, which will directly follow Boston’s Opening Day game against the Mariners.

Rodriguez also sat down for interviews with the Brewers’ Christian Yelich and the Mets’ new general manager, Brodie Van Wagenen.

“I hope people come away from these conversations with a deeper sense of who these guys truly are, what motivates them and the hard work that’s necessary for a meaningful pivot,” Rodriguez said in a statement.


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