Red Sox Live Blog: Cody Ross Hammers Two Homers to Key 9-4 Win

Red Sox Live Blog: Cody Ross Hammers Two Homers to Key 9-4 Win

Final, Red Sox 9-4: Cody Ross carried the Red Sox on his shoulders, lifting them with two homers.

Adrian Gonzalez also blasted a shot while Aaron Cook steadied the ship in the emergency start for Clay Buchholz and his second start of the season.

It could've been Kevin Youkilis' last game for the Red Sox.

End 8th, Red Sox 9-4: Darnell McDonald collected a single in this inning and has been swinging the bat pretty well.

He nearly had a homer earlier, but the ball was snagged on the warning track. But that's why the Red Sox chose McDonald over Marlon Byrd.

And Mark Melancon is coming into the game to pitch for the Sox.

Mid 8th, Red Sox 9-4: After a subpar outing on Saturday, Scott Atchison responded with a 12-pitch inning.

But we're still trying to figure out whether Kevin Youkilis was traded. The video scoreboard showed highlights of his career right after he was yanked.

He isn't lounging around the dugout, either.

End 7th, Red Sox 9-4: And this may have been the last of Kevin Youkilis in a Red Sox uniform.

If so, he went out in electrifying fashion, ripping an RBI triple. Soon after, Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine removed him to get a rousing standing ovation from the Red Sox fans.

Then all his teammates started embracing him — one by one — before he got a curtain call. It was the type of behavior that made you feel a trade was on the horizon.

Mid 7th, Red Sox 8-4: Red Sox reliever Andrew Miller allowed a few singles, but rebounded.

He received some help from Kelly Shoppach, who proved why he's so strong, defensively. Shoppach paced around foul territory, looking to snag Brian McCann's pop up.

That's some nice work from the battery mates.

End 6th, Red Sox 8-4: Daniel Nava is just crushing, hitting a double that was a few inches from clearing the wall for a homer.

He's been so good that, frankly, Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine has run out of adjectives to describe him. 

But he's really a cog at the top of the order and could possibly work well there even when Jacoby Ellsbury returns.

Mid 6th, Red Sox 7-4: Matt Albers came in to relieve Aaron Cook and surrendered a solo shot to Jason Heyward.

But Cook didn't do too bad. Through five innings, he yielded six hits, three runs (two earned) with no walks or runs.

It's very rare to see a guy go that long without a walk or strikeout, but that's a byproduct of the sinker.

End 5th, Red Sox 7-3: Cody Ross has gone yard again, driving a two-run shot over the Green Monster.

It's his ninth multi-homer game in his career and second of the season — first since April 23, when he did it against the Minnesota Twins.

A few days ago, Dan Uggla joked with me that he couldn't let Ross catch up to him in homers. Well, too late, Ross and Uggla both have 11.

Mid 5th, Red Sox 4-3: The sinker wasn't hitting its spot and was probably a little high in the zone, considering Braves hitters punished Cook.

Eric Hinske ripped a two-run triple that sliced the deficit. While Aaron Cook showed good instincts trapping a grounder, he misplayed it and fired an errant throw to third base — trying to get Hinske out.

I'm surprised we haven't seen him showcase his new pitch yet.

End 4th, Red Sox 4-0: Since returning off the disabled list, Cody Ross has been on fire, blasting four homers and 13 RBIs.

Meanwhile, Adrian Gonzalez hadn't hit a homer in his last 47 at-bats. Despite the opposite directions, both delivered back-to-back jacks in the fourth.

But Bobby Valentine doesn't think Gonzalez' recent success is attributed to going back to first base.

"Adrian is going to get hot whether he’s DH'ing or playing center field or right field or first base," Valentine said. "He’s going to get hot."

2:51 p.m.: Cody Ross and Adrian Gonzalez deliver back-to-back homers. That's the third time that it's happened.

Mid 4th, 0-0: This is the Aaron Cook that the Red Sox expected back in May.

This is what his sinkerball was supposed to produce. With Cook and Franklin Morales shining, there will be a logjam of starters when Josh Beckett and Clay Buchholz return off the disabled list.

But as the adage goes, you can never have enough pitching.

End 3rd, 0-0: Atlanta's Mike Minor has continued to sling the ball well, throwing a third straight scoreless inning.

He relied on his fastball and changeup in the third inning and wound up getting Daniel Nava to strike out swinging.

Mid 3rd, 0-0: Kevin Youkilis snagged a line drive from Atlanta's Michael Bourn and appeared to hurt his left hand.

A trainer came out and examined him, but Youkilis stayed in the game and fielded a grounder cleanly in the next at-bat. That would've decimated any trade value that he had left.

Let's see if it swells up moving forward, though.

End 2nd, 0-0: After sitting for the past three games, Kevin Youkilis made his first plate appearance.

In the process, the fans at Fenway Park offered the veteran third baseman a standing ovation, knowing that his name has been dangled in trade rumors.

This could be one of Youkilis' last games in front of the home crowd. Well, he got a single in that at-bat.

Mid 2nd, 0-0: Through two innings, Aaron Cook has only thrown 25 pitches, showing some really good efficiency.

This time, he made it through the second inning without any issues. As many of you remember, he suffered his leg laceration in the second inning of his first start.

He's thrown strictly sinker so far.

End 1st, 0-0: Will Middlebrooks has been pretty good with runners in scoring position as of late, hammering three homers over the past four games.

With a runner on, he grounded into a double play. It was uncharacteristic, but the rookie has already surprised up in the majors.

Also, Dustin Pedroia collected another hit after getting three in Saturday's game.

Mid 1st, 0-0: Aaron Cook is back for the first time in seven weeks and is off to a pretty good start.

That sinkerball induced an inning-ending, double play. Of course, that's the benefit of a sinker as it induces low contact that usually results in grounders.

It looks like Cook isn't favoring his leg anymore after that laceration.

1 p.m.: Here are the lineups.

Red Sox
Daniel Nava, LF 
Dustin Pedroia, 2B 
Will Middlebrooks, DH 
Cody Ross, RF
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B 
Kevin Youkilis, 3B
Mike Aviles, SS 
Darnell McDonald, CF
Kelly Shoppach, C
Aaron Cook P

Michael Bourn, CF
Martin Prado, LF 
Brian McCann, C 
Dan Uggla, 2B
Freddie Freeman, 1B 
Jason Heyward, RF  
Andrelton Simmons, SS 
Eric Hinske, DH  
Juan Francisco, 3B

Mike Minor, P

8 a.m. ET: Making his second career start for the Red Sox (37-34), Aaron Cook returns to Fenway Park to take on the Braves (38-33). The hurler was sidelined since May 5, when he suffered a left knee laceration that required 11 stitches and a stint on the disabled list. Before suffering the injury, Cook dazzled with his sinkerball.

Afterward, he imploded against the Orioles, yielding eight hits and six runs through 2 2/3 innings. In his last minor league rehab assignment, Cook tossed 66 pitches and "pitched OK", according to Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine. Cook will look to stay healthy in his second start and fill in the void by Clay Buchholz, who is dealing with an illness.

For more details and analysis, follow's live. Tune into NESN's pregame show at noon. First pitch is slated for 1:35 p.m.

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