SEATTLE – Three months is a long time, and the Mariners set out to show just how far they’d come since their last beat down at the hands of a soft-tossing journeyman pitcher.
It was in late June that Aaron Cook of the Boston Red Sox made the Mariners look silly by throwing only 81 pitches over nine innings in a two-hit shutout.
The Mariners didn’t exactly bombard Cook in the rematch on Wednesday night, but they worked him just hard enough for a 2-1 victory to capture the rubber match of the three-game series.
Both Cook and Mariners veteran Kevin Millwood made it through six innings this time. But Millwood allowed just a little less damage in escaping his multiple jams than his Boston mound counterpart.
Mariners closer Tom Wilhelmsen walked the leadoff batter in the ninth, but then struck out the next two batters and got Ivan DeJesus to tap one back to the mound to end the game.
A crowd of 13,037 at Safeco Field saw Cook set a career high with five strikeouts by the time the game was just three innings old.
But Cook also allowed five base runners during that span, which caused his pitch count to slowly climb.
The fourth inning told the difference in the game as Millwood escaped a bases-loaded jam and Cook did not. Seattle loaded the bases with none out in the bottom of the fourth and then, after a pop out, Dustin Ackley singled to center to bring home a pair.
Before that, Seattle had gone 12 innings this season without scoring on Cook, 33, who spent parts of 10 seasons with Colorado before signing with Boston this past winter.
Those turned out to be the only runs the Mariners would score all night, continuing a trend in which Seattle has done all of its scoring in just an inning or two for the last 16 games in a row.
Boston wasn’t doing much better in its own regard against Millwood, despite putting multiple base runners on in the second and fourth innings. There were two on and one out in the second when Millwood got a double-play grounder off the bat of Ryan Lavarnway.
Millwood worked through a perfect fifth, but a leadoff walk came back to haunt him in the sixth. With one out, Cody Ross doubled into the right-field corner to get Boston on the scoreboard. That Millwood got out of it from there kept him in line for the win.
James Loney lined a ball to center, where it was caught for the inning’s second out and then Jarrod Saltalamacchia went down swinging with the count full.
From there, it was up to the bullpen to take over.
They got the job done the final three innings of this game.
Stephen Pryor issued a one-out walk in the seventh, but Charlie Furbush came on and recorded the final two outs of that frame.
The Red Sox managed a one-out single off Josh Kinney in the eighth, but he got a second out and then Lucas Luetge came on and finished off Loney with a strikeout.
|De Jesus 3b||1||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
LOB—Boston 8, Seattle 9. 2B—C.Ross (28). RBIs—C.Ross (73), Ackley 2 (48). SB—Ellsbury (12), Aviles (13), Seager (13). RLISP—Boston 6, Seattle 4. RMU—C.Ross, T.Robinson. GIDP—Lavarnway. DP—Seattle 1.
|A.Cook L, 3-9||6||7||2||2||3||5||5.17|
|Millwood W, 5-12||6||4||1||1||3||3||4.27|
|Pryor H, 3||1/3||0||0||0||1||0||2.51|
|Furbush H, 5||2/3||0||0||0||0||1||2.27|
|Kinney H, 5||2/3||1||0||0||0||0||3.68|
|Luetge H, 11||1/3||0||0||0||0||1||3.13|
|Wilhelmsen S, 24-27||1||0||0||0||1||2||2.58|
IR-S—Aceves 1-0, Furbush 1-0, Luetge 1-0. T—2:47. A—13,037 (47,860).