BOSTON Aaron Cook entered Saturdays game having given up just two walks, and two home runs, with two strikeouts in his previous five starts, spanning 29 23 innings.
Hes not concerned about a lack of strikeouts, he has said. That means hes most likely pitching to contact and his sinker is doing its job. The lack of walks means hes pounding the strike zone. And the lack of home runs, well, thats speaks for itself.
Those numbers all changed Saturday against the Blue Jays, though, and the result also speaks for itself, as the Red Sox lost to Toronto, 7-3.
Cook went 6 13 innings, giving up five runs (three earned) on four hits, with a walk, a strikeout, and two home runs. He took the loss, falling to 2-3 with a 3.50 ERA. The quality start was little consolation.
Cook was pretty good, said manager Bobby Valentine. He had groundballs going. He kept them at bay for a while. And started off the seventh with a couple of comebackers. I think the walk might have, he might have lost a little concentration. I dont know, they only hit two balls hard against him. They both went over the fence. Thats a pretty good outing.
The two home runs accounted for the tying and go-ahead runs. With two outs in the sixth inning, Toronto tied the score on Edwin Encarnacions two-run home run after a walk to Colby Rasmus. The Jays pulled ahead in the seventh when J.P. Arencibia led off the inning with his 14th home run of the season.
In a span of three batters, Cook doubled the number of home runs hes allowed this season.
They were pitches that came back over the middle of the plate Cook said. If I had two pitches to take back the whole game, thosed be the only two. I felt like other than that, I was in a pretty good rhythm, putting the ball really where I wanted to and just those two bad pitches, they made me pay for them tonight.
A walk and a home run, you cant walk people before you give up a home run. Solo home runs really dont hurt you that bad. But that Rasmus at-bat I kind of just lost command a little bit and I was trying to get back into it with Encarnacion coming up next. I just left one that kind of looped back a little bit. He was starting to dive. So in retrospect if Id have probably thrown him a sinker in, probably get a different result. But you cant always look back and say, 'What if.' You just got to try to go with what you got. And that was the pitch that I was committed to. Just missed my location.
It was as simple as that.
I think thats just what it was, said catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia. He made two pitches over the middle of the plate. But other than that, I think he pitched well. The ball was moving a lot tonight. Kept the ball down, got a lot of groundballs, which is what you expect from him.
I think that you know what youre going to get from Aaron. Youre looking for a sinker. I think both those guys were looking for it and they just got the pitch over the plate. Thats all it was. I thought the one to Arencibia was a really good pitch. It was down. It was over the middle but it was down. Not too many guys can stay with that and hit it out. He did a great job.
Cook limited the Blue Jays to just two hits over the first five innings.
It was a combination of us coming to life and his sinker staying up a little, said Jays manager John Farrell. Cook was that good in the first five innings.
Cooks strikeout of Anthony Gose for the second out of the third inning snapped a steak of 19 innings without a strikeout. In that span he had an ERA of 1.29. In his last five starts since coming off the disabled list on June 24, he has an ERA of 2.16, with three or fewer earned runs in all five outings.