Cook hopes to contribute

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Cook hopes to contribute

SEATTLE -- Aaron Cook's 2012 season has already been interrupted once before. Now, as mid-season appraoches, he hopes he can be a contributor to the Red Sox for the final three months.
Added to the team's 25-man roster in early May, Cook made just one start for the Red Sox before a collision at home plate resulted in his left kneecap being gashed open, requiring stitches and an extended stay on the disabled list.
Cook returned to action last weekend and earned a win over the Atlanta Braves. Now, as the Sox scuffle to re-arrange their rotation to give some of the regulars extra rest, Cook is, finally, part of the team's plans again.
Last time out, he went five innings and allowed three runs before being lifted. "I felt like I could have gone another 25-30 pitches,'' said Cook Thursday. "But the timing of the game, how many runs we had, it was just the perfect time to get rested up and get ready to go (in the next one). I feel like we're definitely building up, going in the right direction on that one. Hopefully, I can go out this time and try to push seven or eight innings.''
"Considering he's still finishing up a rehab,'' said Bobby Valentine, ''he was able to throw enough pitchers to progress from the last time he pitched. He threw pitches up in the zone that had enough sink on them to still be effective and he maintained all of his pitches through the 80 pitches that he threw.
"If he can build on that, I like what we have.''
The Red Sox began the season with a starting five of Jon Lester, Josh Beckett, Clay Buchholz, Felix Doubront and Daniel Bard, but since then, have worked in Daisuke Matsuzaka, Frankin Morales, and Cook.
"I think they did a great job of stocking us with arms this year,'' said Cook. "You never forsee having these types of injuries throughout the season. But they had a good plan and I was ready to come back when Clay got sick and Josh is ready to come back. It's really good timing.''
Even with Buchholz sidelined for a while, the Sox are going to a six-man rotation to offer some extra bounce-back time.
"If ever a guy's out of gas, it might be now,'' said Valentine of the turn to the six-man rotation. "It's not necessarily even a physical thing. You start looking at the finish line (at the All-Star break) and you lose a stride.''

Carrabis: Not impressed by anyone else in A.L. East

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Carrabis: Not impressed by anyone else in A.L. East

Mike Felger grills Jared Carrabis on if he thinks the Boston Red Sox lead in the division will last the season and also why David Price has struggled so far this season.

Quotes, notes and stars: Farrell sticks with Price

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Quotes, notes and stars: Farrell sticks with Price

BOSTON – Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox’ 8-7 win over the Yankees:

 

QUOTES

“I was talking to Chili Davis before he got to the mound, so I was trying to get a fastball.” - Christian Vazquez said on his game plan against Dellin Betances before he hit his go-ahead two-run home run in the seventh.

“He was still in good shape in terms of the number of pitches thrown. It didn’t seem like his stuff was backing up . . . I thought he was still strong . . . We knew what Alex had done in the previous couple of at-bats, but I just went out to check with him.” - John Farrell on his decision to leave David Price in the seventh to face Alex Rodriguez after he’d hit a home run and double in consecutive at-bats.

“I appreciate him leaving me out there in that situation against a guy that [had] hit the ball well against me twice . . . For them to stick with me today I really appreciate it.” - Price on Farrell leaving him in against Rodriguez in the seventh.

“He’d started me off with first pitch breaking ball both times. I was having a hard time picking it up all day. So I thought, let’s see if he does it again – and he threw it again.” - Travis Shaw on his two-run home run off Nathan Eovaldi in the fifth inning.

 

NOTES

* Of Travis Shaw’s 16 career home runs, seven have been on the first pitch. All three of his home runs against the Yankees have either tied the game or given Boston the lead.

* Both of Christian Vazquez’s career home runs have been two-run, tie-breaking shots at Fenway, with the other one coming in September of 2014.

* With his single to the left side in his second at-bat, Jackie Bradley, Jr. extends his hitting streak to eight games.

* Boston has stolen 22 bases in 24 attempts. The 2016 group is only the second Red Sox team in the last 20 years to steal as many as 22 bases in the first 25 games (2013 being the other team).

* Nathan Eovaldi notched three strikeouts, snapping his 6+ strikeout streak at eight games. He was tied with Rick Porcello for the longest active streak.

 

STARS

1) Christian Vazquez

His second career home run gave Boston the lead and insurance it needed.

2) Travis Shaw

After striking out twice against New York’s starter, Travis Shaw hit a no-doubt two-run homer to tie the game at 6-6.

3) Alex Rodriguez

After missing out on an RBI opportunity in his first at-bat, the Yankees’ DH took advantage of two big mistakes by David Price, blasting a homer and a double, knocking in three runs in the process.

First impressions: Red Sox get to Yankees bullpen

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First impressions: Red Sox get to Yankees bullpen

First Impressions from the Red Sox' 8-7 victory over the Yankees.

 

All of a sudden, David Price is having issues at Fenway.

When the Sox signed Price last December, they cited his past

success in their home ballpark (1.95 ERA) as evidence that he could thrive here. But six starts into his Red Sox career, his three worst starts have come here. He's pitched 22 2/3 innings and allowed 21 earned runs.

Even stranger is that so much damage was done by Alex Rodriguez, who previously had compiled a .237 career average against Price with just one homer in 57 at-bats.

 

It's highly unusual for John Farrell to go to the mound and not take the starting pitcher out.

But that's what happened in the top of the seventh. David Price was in the mid-90s with his pitch count and Rodriguez -- who had homered and doubled off Price in his previous two at-bats -- was due. It seemed obvious that Price was coming out of the game.

Instead, Price was left in and grounded out to second to end the inning. It says something about Farrell's trust in Price - or Price's powers of persuasion -- that the lefty stayed in the game.

 

Credit Travis Shaw with making some in-game adjustments.

In his first two at-bats against New York starter Nathan Eovaldi, Shaw struck out twice. Both times, Eovaldi started him off with a curve ball.

But when Eovaldi tried it again in the fifth, Shaw hammered the pitch deep into the right field seats for a two-run homer.

 

The Red Sox bullpen far outshone that of the Yankees in this series.

In the three games just played, Boston relievers tossed seven shutout innings in the series, while Yankees' righthander Dellin Betances twice yielded two-run homers to cost the Yanks both games.

 

Dustin Pedroia insists he's not focusing on hitting the ball the other way, but the results suggest otherwise.

Pedroia banged out three singles Sunday night and all three were hit to right. On the current homestand, Pedroia has a total of eight hits; five were hit to right field.