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Aaron Cook was hoping for a better first start in Boston. A much anticipated debut for the Red Sox on Saturday was shattered early, as a second inning collision with Chris Davis left a large gash in his leg. He amazingly stayed in the game, but probably would have been better off hitting the showers, as he was knocked around in a seven-run Orioles third inning. The Sox offense was relatively quiet again as Jason Hammel pitched into the seventh inning for Baltimore.
Cook was actually solid out of the gate. Throwing entirely sinkers, he retired the first five batters he faced, inducing four ground ball outs in the infield. Consecutive singles from Davis and Wilson Betemit put runners on the corners, and a passed ball by Jarrod Saltalamacchia allowed Davis to head home. Cook rushed to the plate as the runner slid in ahead of the tag, clipping the pitcher with his cleat and leaving the wound.
The Red Sox medical staff visited Cook, who appeared calm throughout the process of getting his leg wrapped up. Amazingly he elected to continue pitching, which in retrospect was probably not a good decision. Adam Jones followed an RBI single from Nick Markakis with a two-run blast over the Green Monster. Cook was pulled after allowing another RBI single to Betemit made it 5-0 Baltimore. Clayton Mortensen promptly came in and allowed a three-run home run to Mark Reynolds, quickly giving Baltimore an 8-0 lead.
The Sox would get a few back late, but the game was already out of reach.
After allowing the bomb to Reynolds, Mortensen struck out five over 3.1 relief innings. Scott Atchison aided in relieving the relieving core from what could have been a busy afternoon with three shut out innings to close the game.
On Sunday, the Red Sox will try to avoid a sweep at the hands of Baltimore, sending Clay Buchholz to the mound against Tommy Hunter. In all of Buchholz’s starts this season, he’s allowed at least five earned runs, though in his most recent start, the runs came in the seventh inning after what had been a fairly solid outing. Hunter has had two days of extra rest and hopes to continue his success early on this year.
Tags: Aaron Cook, Adam Jones, Adrian Gonzalez, Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Chris Davis, Clay Buchholz, Clayton Mortensen, Cody Ross, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Jason Hammel, Mark Reynolds, Nick Markakis, Ryan Sweeney, Scott Atchison, Tommy Hunter, Wilson Betemit