Seattle, WA – Aaron Cook fired his third career shutout and his first in over three years as the Red Sox blanked the Mariners, 5-0, in the second installment of a four-game set Friday at Safeco Field.
Cook (2-1) allowed just two hits and struck out two without walking a batter to earn his first shutout since May 21, 2009 against the Atlanta Braves.
"He looked good to me," said Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine about Cook. "37 pitches after 5 innings? Amazing. Good for him. Good for us."
Will Middlebrooks, Cody Ross and Daniel Nava each hit solo home runs in the fifth inning, while Jarrod Saltalamacchia added a two-run blast in the sixth to help the Red Sox earn their third win in their last four tries.
Hector Noesi (2-10) was charged for all five runs on seven hits over five-plus innings of work to absorb the loss. Ichiro Suzuki and John Jaso each singled to account for the Mariners two hits as they lost for the fourth time in their last six games.
"We were horrible tonight, I mean we stunk up the joint tonight," admitted Seattle manager Eric Wedge about his offense. "Nothing more to say."
Boston managed just one hit over the first four frames, but a home run derby broke out in the top of the fifth inning as the Red Sox grabbed a 3-0 lead.
Middlebrooks and Ross launched back-to-back homers to start the frame before Nava deposited a solo blast into the right-field seats to cap a three-run fifth for the visitors.
The offensive outburst continued in the sixth as David Ortiz ripped a leadoff double and trotted home as Saltalamacchia crushed a two-run shot the opposite way over the wall in left-center field to make it a 5-0 game.
Suzuki's leadoff single in the fourth gave the Mariners their first hit, but Cook quickly disposed of him by inducing a double-play ground out from Casper Wells.
Seattle again put the leadoff man on in the eighth as Jaso singled to start the frame, but Cook got Justin Smoak to fly out before inducing an inning- ending double-play from Dustin Ackley.
Cook needed just 81 pitches to complete his shutout, giving him the lowest pitch count in a complete game in the majors this season. Joe Blanton had held the lowest pitch count with 88 pitches during his May 3rd shutout of the Atlanta Braves...Cook has now won two straight starts since coming off the 15- day disabled list on June 24...Adrian Gonzalez singled in the sixth to extend his hit-streak to 10 games...Noesi has now lost his last seven decisions.