The Red Sox' pair of fill-in starters pitched like aces, combining for 16 shutout innings in the first two games of a four-game series with Seattle. Morales began the domination Thursday night, going a career-long seven innings while allowing just three hits and striking out seven to lower his season ERA to 2.59. The 26-year-old lefty was denied his second victory on the season, however, as Mariners starter Felix Hernandez pitched an absolute gem, striking out 13 in a five-hit shutout.
But Cook outdid both of them Friday, allowing two hits and throwing just 81 pitches in a 5-0 shutout to earn his first Amica Pitcher of the Week award. No Mariner even reached second base as Cook induced 13 groundouts — including two double plays — to record his third career shutout.
It looked like Cook might not get another chance to start after he allowed seven runs in 2 2/3 innings in his debut on May 5. But since that outing, Cook has halved his ERA every time out, going from 20.25 after his initial start to his current mark of 4.32.
The Sox' bullpen has also been effective of late, allowing just one run in 6 2/3 innings over the last four games. Clayton Mortensen tossed 3 1/3 scoreless innings in two outings this week, and his numbers on the season look dominant: a 1.20 ERA and 0.60 WHIP in seven appearances. Andrew Miller has been just as good out of the pen, pitching 1 1/3 scoreless innings this week and earning his second victory on the season. Miller has allowed just one run in 11 appearances since May 30.