TORONTO (AP)Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora rejoined the team in Toronto on Wednesday after missing the past six games because of COVID-19.

The Red Sox have gone 1-5 under bench coach Will Venable since Cora tested positive before last Thursday’s home loss to Toronto. Boston is 7-11 overall.

Cora said he was glad he caught the infection before the Red Sox flew to Florida last Thursday night for a weekend series against the Tampa Bay Rays.

”I didn’t want to be the guy that hopped on a plane feeling bad and putting the whole team in a bad spot,” Cora said. ”You have to be smart about it, you have to be responsible.”

With the rest of his family in Puerto Rico, Cora said he stayed at his Boston home alone while recovering from the virus, watching his team on television.

”We’re not winning games but I don’t think we’re that far off,” Cora said. ”I do believe, offensively, we’re closer than people think. We’ve been hitting the ball hard lately.”

Cora, who is vaccinated and boosted, said he was pleased not to have suffered any loss in appetite during his illness.

”A lot of ice cream during the game,” he said.

After being cleared by MLB on Wednesday morning, Cora nearly missed his flight to Toronto when his driver showed up late. On the plane, two Boston fans heading north for the game recognized him.

”They looked, and double checked, and they go, `Hey, skipper, are you OK?,”’ Cora said. ”I said `Don’t call me skipper.”’

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports