Saturday, June 30, 2012

Andrew McCutchen Leads Pirates in 14-5 Romp over Cards; Aaron Cook Shuts Out Mariners on 80 Pitches

Players of the Day for Friday, June 29, 2012

American League

Aaron Cook needed only 80 pitches to blank the Seattle Mariners, 5-0, as Boston hitters delivered four homers to back the 2-hit shutout. It was the 10th time this season Seattle has been held scoreless for a full game.

Cook: 80-pitch shutout
Sidelined since his first start of the season on May 5 when he cut his left knee on a play at the plate, Cook was making his second start since returning to the Red Sox rotation. He got the win against Atlanta on June 24, allowing two runs on six hits over five innings, but on Friday night, his sinker was working to near-perfection getting 16 outs on ground balls and two on strikes.

The complete game was the 12th of his career, and his third shutout. Cook joined the Red Sox after the end last season, having spent 10 years in Colorado.

Only Ichiro Suzuki and John Jaso had hits off Cook, both singles to lead off innings, Ichiro's in the fourth and Jaso's in the eighth. Cook issued no walks and improved to 2-1 on the year, making his presence felt at the right time, as the Red Sox, after a tough start, are now tied with Tampa Bay for third place in the AL East, trailing the Yankees by 5 1/2 games. The Yankees lost their second straight at home to the White Sox, falling by a football-like score of 14-7 on Friday.

National League

McCutchen: .344 BA
The 2012 version of the Pittsburgh Pirates is not a team to be taken lightly.

Taking down the Cardinals, 12-5, on Friday, Pittsburgh secured a 1 1/2 lead over third place St. Louis and trail the NL Central-leading Reds by just one game.

Pittsburgh's third straight win came largely at the expense of St. Louis starter Adam Wainwright, who allowed seven earned runs off 11 hits in just five innings.

As has been the case most of the season, Andrew McCutchen led the Pirate assault with four hits in five at-bats, including a double and his 15th home run of the season. McCutchen scored four times and drove in three runs, boosting his total to 51, sixth best in the NL. His .344 batting average is the fifth-highest in the league and his 15 homers are tied for sixth in that department.

The Pirates play the second game of their three game series in St. Louis Saturday afternoon at 2:15 pm and finish up Sunday with another day game.

In San Francisco, the Reds halted the Giants' four game win streak with a 5-1 win to retain their slim edge over the Pirates. San Fran held onto first in the West as the Dodgers lost their sixth straight, a 9-0 loss to the Mets, as R.A. Dickey won his MLB-best 12th game with a three-hit, 10 K effort over eight innings.

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