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Friday, June 29, 2012

Just Your Regular Old 2-Hitter By Aaron Cook, Wait What?

Short of a perfect game or no-hitter, you'll be hard pressed to see a better pitching performance than the one turned in by Red Sox starter Aaron Cook tonight in Seattle.

In only his third start for Boston (41-36, 20-15 away), the veteran sinkerballer threw a two-hitter as the Red Sox blanked the Mariners (33-46, 14-22 home) 5-0 at Safeco Field. It was the 12th complete game of Cook's career and third shutout.

Cook didn't walk anybody and only struck out two guys. He was super efficient and quick (the game took 2 hours and 18 minutes) since he needed just 81 pitches to get it all done. Of the 27 Seattle outs: 15 ground outs, 10 fly outs and two strikeouts.

This being the Mariners, who have one of the most wretched lineups in MLB history, we have to treat this is an anomaly. Still, it shows that Cook has something left in the tank if he can stay healthy.

In five innings, Hector Noesi (2-10) allowed all five earned runs on seven hits including four home runs.

After four scoreless innings, the Red Sox blasted a trio of solo homers in the fifth. Will Middlebrooks (10th of the season) and Cody Ross (12th of the season) went back-to-back before Daniel Nava (3rd of the season) also went deep.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia (15th of the season) continued his late All-Star push (yes I know voting is already over) with a two-run shot in the sixth. The 2012 All-Star teams are announced on Sunday afternoon. David Ortiz is the only lock for the Red Sox which says something about how much their other "stars" have underachieved in the first half.

Boston's defense clearly enjoyed playing behind a pitcher that worked fast, a big issue with almost every other starter, as they turned two double plays.

Josh Beckett (4-7) returns from almost three weeks on the DL tomorrow night (10:10 p.m., NESN) to face Erasmo Ramirez (0-2), a converted rookie reliever making his fourth MLB start. Franklin Morales and Cook have both put up zeros in the first two games of this series so it's not too much to ask of the Texas Toughguy to shut out this awful opponent.

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