Cook uses right ingredients in second start for Sox


Cook uses right ingredients in second start for Sox

BOSTON Barring a total calamity, Aaron Cooks second start with the Red Sox this season was virtually ensured of going better than his first.

In his first outing, May 5 facing the Orioles, Cook lasted just 2 23 innings, giving up seven runs, six earned, on eight hits and a walk with one home run. He was hurt covering home plate on a passed ball in the second inning, when his left shin was spiked opening a gash that required 11 stitches. Despite the injury, Cook stayed in the game.

But he was placed on the disabled list the next day with a record of 0-1 and a bloated 20.25 ERA.He had been working his way back since then. He was scheduled to make his second rehab start Saturday for Triple-A Pawtucket but was pulled just before game time.

In both major league starts Cook was pressed into service because of health concerns with other starters.In his first outing, he was taking the place of Josh Beckett, who was sidelined with a lat strain. On Sunday, the Sox needed him to fill in for Clay Buchholz, who has been hospitalized with gastrointestinal issues and placed on the 15-day DL (retroactive to June 20).

Against the Braves Sunday Cook went five innings, giving up three runs, two earned, on six hits, with no walks and no strikeouts, as the Sox won, 9-4. He earned the win, improving to 1-1, lowering his ERA to 9.39. Working at a brisk tempo, Cook threw 79 pitches, 48 strikes.

Cook kept the Braves off the scoreboard through the first four innings, giving up just three this, on 55 pitches, 34 strikes.

He faltered in the fifth, though, allowing the first four batters to reach base. Jason Heyward and Andrelton Simmons opened the inning with singles, scoring on Eric Hinskes triple to the deepest part of center field. Juan Francisco reached on Cooks error, with Hinske scoring. But Cook got out of the inning with no further damage, turning the game over to the bullpen.

It was his first win since Aug. 11, 2011, with the Rockies against the Marlins.

Aaron Cook was, I think, even a little more than I was hoping for, said manager Bobby Valentine. Got up close to 80 pitches and really only had that one ball to center field that was hit hard. The guys on before that, a groundball and a broken bat. But he worked quickly. His sinker looked good. He elevated some balls, threw inside to left-handers a little better than I had seen him in spring training or the last time out. It was a good job.

Although he had had just one rehab start with Pawtucket -- going four innings Monday night at Syracuse, giving up three runs on seven hits and a walk with three strikeouts, throwing 66 pitches -- Cook said that was enough.

Ive been doing it a long time. So its kind of like riding a bike, he said. Once you get your pitch count up to a certain level its just a matter of going out there and executing and letting the mechanics take care of everything and thats what I was able to do today.

Im really close to 100-percent, probably 85-, 90-percent of where I was. The biggest thing would be get my pitch count back up. I was at 66 pitches in my last Triple-A start. Sunday I was at 79 pitches. So I felt really good. It was nice to get out there and pitch some quality innings and get a win today.

Cook got nine of 15 outs on groundballs, a good sign that his signature sinker is working.

Actually, I felt a lot sharper than I did my last outing down in Pawtucket, he said. So actually kind of surprised. But my sinker was working, my cutter was working, and me and catcher Kelly Shoppach got into a great rhythm early and just keep going.

With Beckett on the DL, eligible to be activated Wednesday, and Buchholz, eligible to be activated July 5 although the severity of his health concerns is not known Cook is likely to stay in the rotation for the foreseeable future. Barring an unforeseen calamity.

Eduardo Rodriguez strong, Red Sox down Mariners for 5th straight win

Eduardo Rodriguez strong, Red Sox down Mariners for 5th straight win

BOSTON (AP)  Eduardo Rodriguez pitched six scoreless innings and the Boston Red Sox took advantage of a sloppy performance by the Seattle Mariners to earn their season-high fifth straight win, 3-0 on Friday night.

It was the third consecutive win for Rodriguez (4-1), who went six innings, gave up just five hits and struck out four while throwing a season-high 112 pitches. Craig Kimbrel earned his 13th save.

Rodriguez has pitched at least six innings in his last seven starts, going 4-0 in that span.

The only run support Rodriguez needed came in the second inning, when Hanley Ramirez scored on Josh Rutledge's RBI groundout. Boston added two more runs in the sixth, scoring on a wild pitch and passed ball.

Yovani Gallardo (2-5) took the loss. He lasted 5 1/3 innings, gave up seven hits and was responsible for all three of Boston's runs. Seattle has won just one of its last seven.

Meanwhile, Boston gave Rodriguez got lots of help from his defense. Jackie Bradley Jr. had a pair of nice plays, getting an outfield assist in the second and running down another ball on the warning track in the sixth.

In addition to the pitching miscues, the Mariners had all kinds of issues in the wet conditions, committing two fielding errors.

The Red Sox left 11 runners on base, leaving the door open for the Mariners to get back in the game. But Seattle couldn't capitalize, going 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position. The Mariners also left seven runners stranded.


Mariners: LHP James Paxton (strained left forearm) was slated to make a rehab start Friday night in Double-A Arkansas. He has been on the 10-day disabled list since May 5. He could be activated for a start at the end of the month against Colorado.

Red Sox: Infielder Marco Hernandez will be out the remainder of the season after undergoing stabilization surgery on his left shoulder on Friday. Hernandez was placed on the disabled list May 4 with a left shoulder misalignment. The 24-year-old hit .276 with two RBI in 21 games. ... A night after he left the game with left knee pain, 2B Dustin Pedroia was held out Friday for what manager John Farrell said was "precautionary reasons" because of the wet playing surface.


Mariners: RHP Rob Whalen (0-2, 4.09 ERA in Triple-A Tacoma) will be making his major league start since last season with Atlanta. He will be 12th different starting pitcher the Mariners have used this season.

Red Sox: LHP Brian Johnson (1-0, 7.20 ERA) will be making his second major league start this year and third of his career.


More AP baseball:

Pedroia (knee) out of lineup again after leaving game early Thursday

Pedroia (knee) out of lineup again after leaving game early Thursday

Dustin Pedroia is out of the lineup again tonight after leaving the Red Sox game Thursday night with knee pain in the fifth inning.

Josh Rutledge will start at second base as the Sox open a three-game series with the Seattle Mariners at Fenway Park.  

The weather and sloppy field conditions were a factor in John Farrell deciding to get Pedroia out of the game Thursday and conditions haven’t improved significantly Friday. 

Pedroia (.288, two homers, 21 RBI) had surgery on that knee in October. It's the same leg that was hurt when Manny Machado slid into Pedroia at second base in April, the slide that sparked the plunking war between the Orioles and Red Sox.

The full lineups: 

Jean Segura SS
Guillermo Heredia CF
Robinson Canó 2B
Nelson Cruz DH
Kyle Seager 3B
Danny Valencia 1B
Taylor Motter LF
Ben Gamel RF
Mike Zunino C

Yovanni Gallardo RHP

Mookie Betts RF
Andrew Benintendi LF
Xander Bogaerts SS
Hanley Ramirez DH
Mitch Moreland 1B
Josh Rutledge 2B
Jackie Bradley Jr CF
Christian Vazquez C
Deven Marrero 3B

Eduardo Rodriguez LHP