Eduardo Rodriguez, right, passes Christian Vazquez as he walks back to the mound during Boston’s 10-1 loss to the Rangers on Saturday night in Boston. Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

Alex Cora had seen enough.

On Saturday, the Boston Red Sox manager bluntly called out his team after its ugliest game of the season. The Sox were pounded by the lowly Texas Rangers 10-1, losing to a team that had lost 16 of its previous 17 road games.

The Red Sox committed five errors in the loss, matching the total number of hits they had in the game. It was their worst defensive day in a season that has featured plenty of sloppy play.

And it wasn’t just the errors. There were mental lapses throughout, like Eduardo Rodriguez not covering first base and Christian Vázquez gingerly trying to tag Yohel Pozo as the Rangers’ runner slid into home. He was safe.

The Sox are in a stretch of nine straight games against sub-.500 team. They won’t win every one of those games. But they can’t lose the way they did Saturday night, self-destructing against a last-place team.

Cora called his team’s performance “embarrassing.”

“We’re not in the business of trying to make plays,” he said after the game. “We have to make plays. We haven’t been making plays for a while.”

On Monday afternoon, despite a blown save by Matt Barnes, Boston rebounded to defeat Texas 8-4 on Travis Shaw’s grand slam in the 11th inning. But even with the win, the Red Sox are 8-15 (.348 winning percentage) over their past 23 games. For a team that raised expectations with a stellar first half, they’ve been playing like the team that last season stumbled to its worst record in 55 years. In fact, the 2020 Sox played better baseball (.400 winning percentage).

Cora is doing what he can, inserting Kyle Schwarber into left field Monday and activating Christian Arroyo. It’s the first time Schwarber played in the field since he injured his hamstring with the Washington Nationals on July 2. Soon he’ll be playing first base, a position he hasn’t played (except for one inning in 2017) at the professional level.

The belief is he can handle the adjustment. That was also the belief surrounding Arroyo when he tried the move to first. He lasted three innings before he suffered a hamstring injury trying to stretch toward a throw.

The defense isn’t the only issue surrounding this team. There are still pitching concerns — from Rodriguez’s short start Saturday night to a bullpen that has been cracking under the weight of heavy season-long usage. And the offense has been cold since the end of July.

Things have gotten bad when you do more by not playing. As the threat of Tropical Storm Henri postponed Sunday’s finale between the Sox and Rangers, the A’s were losing to the Giants. That moved Boston back into a tie for the second wild-card spot. The Red Sox inched a half-game ahead with Monday’s win, but Oakland played later Monday night at home against Seattle.

Just a few weeks ago a wild-card berth would’ve been dismissed as a disappointing consolation prize for a team that had been in first place most of the season. Now, with the Rays 6 1/2 games ahead of the Sox and only six weeks remaining in the season, that single-game play-in sounds like a goal worth fighting for.

First, the Red Sox have to stop fighting themselves. A week ago we thought they just weren’t at a point to compete with the best teams in the league. Saturday night was a reminder that they won’t compete with anyone if they don’t clean things up and play crisper baseball.

Tom Caron is a studio host for Red Sox broadcasts on NESN.

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