Ted S. Warren / AP
RED SOX- The pitcher of record for what turned out to be Kevin Youkilis' final game with the Red Sox was not only something of an afterthought, but he kind of backed into the win last Sunday and wasn't even supposed to start until Clay Buchholz was sidelined with intestinal problems.
Aaron Cook went 5 innings and gave up three runs in Boston's 9-4 win over the Braves to close out interleague play on Sunday. His start on Firday night would be much more memorable, though.
The series opener in Seattle on Thursday night ended with the Mariners' Felix Hernandez getting the W on a John Jaso RBI single in the bottom of the 9th to give Seattle the walkoff 1-0 victory. Hernandez pitched a complete game, but got no run support until the 9th frame.
On Friday night, fans would get to see another pitching gem- this time from the unlikely starter Aaron Cook. In the top of the 5th, the Red Sox would break a scoreless tie with a trio of solo homers from Middlebrooks, Ross and Nava to put the Red Sox up 3-0. In the top of thr 6th, Jarrod Saltalamacchia belted a run run homer to make it a 5-0 game.
As for Cook, he was cruising and did not give up a hit to the Mariners until the bottom of the 4th when Ichiro Suzuki reached on an infield single. The run support he had in the 5th would be enough for the W. Cook was so effective that he threw all of 81 pitches, allowing only two hits and causing 16 groundouts and walking none of the batters he faced. The Mariners were unable to get a runner past second base in Friday night's 5-0 Boston win.
Saturday's game will have Josh Beckett [4-7; 4.14 ERA] making his first start since June 11th before he went on the DL. Beckett will face Seattle's Erasmo Ramirez [0-2; 4.18 ERA]. The game gets underway at 7:10 Pacific time and 10:10 ET and will be televised on NESN for you night owls.
Cooks gem came two games into a Pacific coast road trip after the Red Sox departed Fenway taking two out of three from the Blue Jays earlier this week. The Red Sox will continue south to Oakland on Monday before returning back to Fenway to face the Yankees for the first time since that disastrous April loss where they managed to blow a seeminlgy insurmountable 8 run lead.
Rob Schumacher,AP Photo/The Arizona Republic
NCAA BASEBALL- The South Carolina Gamecocks reign as College World Series chamipons is over after losing Game 2 of the college World Series to the Arizona Wildcats in Omaha, NE on Monday night. The wildcats took a 1-0 lead on an RBI groundout in the top of the 3rd. The Gamecocks tied the contest up at 1-1 with an RBI fielder's choice of their own in the bottom of the 7th.
However, the Wildcat's Brandon Dixon- who usually enters games as a late-inning defensive replacement- broke the deadlock in the top of the 9th with an RBI double. Then, Trent Gilbert gave the Wildcats some insurance with a 2-RBI single to make it 4-1 in the top of the 9th.
The Gamecocks managed to load the bases in the bottom of the 9th with only one away, but they were retired on a flare to shortstop and a flyball to center field.
The win on Monday gave Arizona a sweep of this year's college world series as well as its first title since 1986.