|Closing Time: Red Sox, Aaron Cook have sinking feeling in loss to Angels||08.21.12 at 10:13 pm ET|
New pitching coach, familiar result.
Though the Red Sox replaced pitching coach Bob McClure with Randy Niemann on Monday’s off-day, the Red Sox endured a familiar shortcoming from a member of their starting staff. For the 39th time this year, a Sox starter allowed five or more runs. The team’s record in such contests dropped to 7-32, with the Sox having lost each of their last 18 contests when a starter yielded a handful of runs.
Aaron Cook was the latest victim, as the right-hander permitted five runs on 11 hits in five innings of work in the Sox’ 5-3 loss to the Angels. The decisive blow came in the fifth when Mark Trumbo jumped on a motionless sinker and launched it into orbit for a two-run homer, the ninth allowed this year by Cook. Cook has now given up at least five runs in five of his last six outings.
The loss dropped the Sox to five games under .500 for the first time since May 12, as the team once again drifted a bit further from the pack of legitimate contenders and a step closer to a season spent playing out the string.
WHAT WENT WRONG THE RED SOX
• Cook dropped to 1-6 in his last eight starts. He did, however, strike out a season-high four, doubling the number of punchouts he recorded in his first five starts combined.
• Adrian Gonzalez went 0-for-4, including a strikeout with two outs and runners on the corners in the fourth inning. His major league-leading average with runners in scoring position dropped from .409 to .406.
• Mike Aviles went 0-for-4 and stranded four. He’s gone 11 straight games without an RBI.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE RED SOX
• Jarrod Saltalamacchia crushed a two-run homer into the first row of the right-field grandstand. It was his first homer since July 27, but his 21st of the year, putting him within five of matching Carlton Fisk‘s franchise record for homers in a season by a catcher. He also drew a pair of walks, the first time since June 20 that he’d reached base as many as three times in a game.
• Clayton Mortensen delivered a pair of perfect innings in which he struck out three. It was his ninth outing this year of two or more innings. He dropped his ERA to 1.72.
• In his first outing since landing on the disabled list on Aug. 8 (retroactive to Aug. 6), Vicente Padilla had a perfect inning, getting a pair of groundouts and a strikeout.
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