|Monday’s Red Sox-White Sox matchups: Aaron Cook vs. Dylan Axelrod||07.16.12 at 8:56 am ET|
The Red Sox will welcome an old friend when they return to Fenway Park for the first time in over a week on Monday night. Kevin Youkilis and the White Sox will take on Aaron Cook and the Red Sox for the first game in a four-game set.
Trying to spoil Youkilis’ return will be Cook, who has aided an ailing Red Sox pitching staff since returning from a lacerated knee. The right-hander is 2-2 on the season, but 2-1 with a 2.25 ERA since returning from his injury on June 24, which is ironically the date of Youkilis’ last game as a member of the Red Sox before being traded to Chicago.
On June 29, Cook had his best start of the year when he put together a complete-game, two-hit shutout in just 81 pitches against the Mariners, and then responded with a solid start against the Athletics. Although he was tagged with the loss, he threw six innings, allowing nine hits and three earned runs, as the Red Sox fell, 3-2.
Now, with 12 days rest, Cook will take the hill against a White Sox team that sits first in the AL Central. The White Sox are 10-5 since June 24 when they acquired Youkilis, who has hit .316 with three home runs and 15 RBIs for his new team. Cook is 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA in two career starts against the White Sox.
Opposing Cook on the mound for the White Sox will be Dylan Axelrod, who will be taking Gavin Floyd’s scheduled start. Floyd has been bothered by tendinitis in his right elbow and forearm.
Mostly a relief pitcher during his short two-year career, Axelrod is only 1-2 with a 6.16 ERA in eight appearances this season. His last appearance came on July 13, when he was the ninth pitcher to relieve starting pitcher Jose Quintana in a 14-inning victory against the Royals. Axelrod pitched two innings and struck out three as he came out with his first win of the season.
Axelrod has one appearance against the Red Sox, which came in his 2012 debut on April 27. In that game he pitched 2 1/3 innings, giving up three hits and one run, which came courtesy of a ninth-inning home run by Darnell McDonald. The Red Sox went on to take that game easily, 10-3.
The 26-year-old Axelrod was taken in the 2007 draft by the Padres before signing with the Independent Windy City of the Frontier League. He spent some time there before playing for Single-A Kannapolis, Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte, where he was 6-1 with a 2.27 ERA in 15 starts as a full-time starter.
White Sox vs. Cook (RHP)
Orlando Hudson (49 plate appearances): .415 BA/.510 OBP/.463 SLG, 2 doubles, 5 RBIs, 7 walks, 4 strikeouts
Adam Dunn (21): .222/.333/.444, 1 double, 1 home run, 3 RBIs, 3 walks, 2 strikeouts
A.J. Pierzynski (14): .083/.214/.083, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts
Alex Rios (9): .375/.444/.500, 1 double, 1 walk
Jake Peavy (7): .167/.286/.333, 1 double, 1 walk, 1 strikeout
Alexei Ramirez (6): .400/.500/.600, 1 double, 1 RBI
Kevin Youkilis (4): .250/.250/.500, 1 double, 1 RBI, 1 strikeout
Gordon Beckham (2): 1.000/1.000/1.000, 1 walk
Red Sox vs. Axelrod (RHP)
Mike Aviles (2 plate appearances): .000 BA/.000 OBP/.000 SLG
Adrian Gonzalez has one walk in one plate appareance vs. Axelrod.
Nick Punto (1): .000/.000/.000
Cody Ross (1): .000/.000/.000
Kelly Shoppach (1): .000/.000/.000, 1 strikeout
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