June 29, 2012 in Sports

Red Sox’ Cook stops Mariners cold

Tim Booth Associated Press
 
Ted Warren photo

Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Aaron Cook, left, greets David Ortiz after Cook threw a two-hit shutout against the Seattle Mariners in a baseball game, Friday, June 29, 2012, in Seattle. The Red Sox beat the Mariners 5-0.
(Full-size photo)

SEATTLE – After another weak effort at the plate from his hitters, Seattle manager Eric Wedge finally snapped.

It certainly wasn’t a surprise after Wedge watched Aaron Cook need just 81 pitches to throw a two-hitter in Boston’s 5-0 victory over the Mariners on Friday night.

“I have no plans on failing here. We’re going to figure this thing out. WE are going to hit at home like we do on the road. We’re not there yet, we’re not even close yet, but it will happen,” Wedge said. “Whether it’s the same guys in the room or not, that’s yet to be determined. That’s up to them but they are not getting it done now.”

Seattle’s only two hits came on a disputed infield single by Ichiro Suzuki in the fourth inning and John Jaso’s sharp single into right field leading off the eighth that took away any uncertainty around Ichiro’s hit, a bang-bang call at first by umpire Lance Barksdale.

That was about all that went in the Mariners’ favor. It was the second time this season they were held to two hits or less, the other being Philip Humber’s perfect game back in April. Entering Friday night, Seattle was hitting.201 at home. That number dipped to .197 after the finest performance of Cook’s career.

Wedge was effusive in his praise for Cook’s efficiency. He was also angry with the approach of his hitters.

“It’s a step back today offensively and that’s hard as hell to do the way we’ve been swinging the bats here at home,” Wedge said. “I’m tired of watching it. I’m patient and I believe nine times out of 10 you are rewarded with patience, but there also has to be a sense of urgency with every player in that room. You’ve got to be able to walk that line. We’ve got too many people not doing it right now.”

Cook (2-1) struck out two, walked none and needed just 81 pitches for his third career shutout and 12th complete game.

Cook didn’t record his first strikeout of the season until getting Chone Figgins looking in the third inning. He was extremely economical with his pitches entering the eighth inning having thrown just 63 total and only 17 balls. Seattle’s Hector Noesi (2-10) became the first pitcher in the majors to reach 10 losses by dropping his seventh straight and was hammered during a stretch of nine batters in the fifth and sixth.

Will Middlebrooks was up first in the Red Sox homer parade after nearly hitting one out to deep center field in his first at-bat in the second inning. Cody Ross then followed with a 432-foot shot into the second deck in left for his 12th homer of the season and two batters later, Daniel Nava hit Boston’s third solo shot of the inning.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia capped Noesi’s miserable night an inning later with a two-run shot the opposite way.

“We were horrible tonight,” Wedge said.

Seattle placed center fielder Franklin Gutierrez on the seven-day concussion disabled list. Gutierrez was hit in the side of the face with an errant pick-off attempt in Thursday’s 1-0 win over Boston.

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