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.''

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