SEATTLE (AP) — After yet another anemic effort at the plate from his hitters, Seattle manager Eric Wedge finally snapped.
It certainly wasn't a surprise after Wedge watched Aaron Cook need just 81 pitches to throw a two-hitter in Boston's 5-0 victory over the Mariners on Friday night.
"I have no plans on failing here. We're going to figure this thing out. WE are going to hit at home like we do on the road. We're not there yet, we're not even close yet, but it will happen," Wedge said. "Whether it's the same guys in the room or not, that's yet to be determined. That's up to them but they are not getting it done now."
Seattle's only two hits came on a disputed infield single by Ichiro Suzuki in the fourth inning and John Jaso's sharp single into right field leading off the eighth that took away any uncertainty around Suzuki's hit, a bang-bang call at first by umpire Lance Barksdale.
That was about all that went in the Mariners favor offensively. It was the second time this season they were held to two hits or less, the other being Philip Humber's perfect game back in April. Entering Friday night, Seattle was hitting.201 at home. That number dipped to .197 after the finest performance of Cook's career.
Wedge was effusive in his praise for Cook's efficiency. He was also equally angry with the approach of his own hitters.
"It's a step back today offensively and that's hard as hell to do the way we've been swinging the bats here at home," Wedge said. "I'm tired of watching it. I'm patient and I believe nine times out of 10 you are rewarded with patience but there also has to be a sense of urgency with every player in that room. You've got to be able to walk that line. We've got too many people not doing it right now."
Cook (2-1) struck out two, walked none and needed just 81 pitches for his third career shutout and 12th complete game. His last complete game victory came on April 24, 2010, against the Marlins when he was pitching with Colorado.
"It means a lot to go out there and prove it, that I'm where I want to be and get back to be an effective pitcher and get back to giving our team a chance to win games and be efficient," Cook said.
In his previous two starts with the Red Sox this season, Cook failed to make it past five innings. His first start in May was done after 2 2-3 innings and six earned runs allowed to Baltimore. He then went on the disabled list with a knee laceration and made his return to the rotation with a victory last Sunday against Atlanta, throwing five innings and giving up two earned runs.
Far from overpowering, Cook didn't record his first strikeout of the season until getting Chone Figgins looking in the third inning. He was extremely economical with his pitches entering the eighth inning having thrown just 63 total and only 17 balls. Only four of the first 21 outs Cook got were recorded by the outfield.
Jaso's single leading off the eighth was sharply hit and it gave Seattle its third runner of the game. Dustin Ackley reached on an error leading off the sixth, but all three times the Mariners got a baserunner, they never reached second. Second baseman Dustin Pedroia made sure of that closing out the eighth by making a diving grab of Ackley's hard grounder, flipping to shortstop Mike Aviles with his glove for the first out and Aviles finishing the double play with a strong throw.
The Mariners were shut out for the 10th time this season in 79 games.
"I'm tired of complimenting the other side," Seattle shortstop Brendan Ryan said. "It's getting old."
Seattle starter Hector Noesi (2-10) became the first pitcher in the majors to reach 10 losses by dropping his seventh straight and was hammered during a stretch of nine batters in the fifth and sixth innings.
Will Middlebrooks was up first in the Red Sox homer parade after nearly hitting one out to deep center field in his first at-bat in the second inning. Noesi continued his season-long struggles of putting away batters with two strikes by leaving a pitch down the middle that Middlebrooks lined to the back of the Red Sox bullpen. Cody Ross then followed with a 432-foot shot into the second deck in left for his 12th homer of the season and two batters later, Daniel Nava hit Boston's third solo shot of the inning.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia capped Noesi's miserable night an inning later with a two-run shot the opposite way.
But the night as a whole was miserable for the Mariners.
"We were horrible tonight," Wedge said. "We stunk up the joint."
Notes: Cook's other two shutouts came in 2009 vs. Atlanta and 2008 vs. San Diego. ... Seattle placed CF Franklin Gutierrez on the seven-day concussion DL on Friday. Gutierrez was hit in the side of the face with an errant pick-off attempt in Thursday's 1-0 win over Boston and spent the night in a hospital for observation. ... Seattle is 0-3 this season when the Safeco Field roof has been closed during the game.