BOSTON -- Aaron Cook's first start as a member of the Red Sox on Saturday, facing the Orioles, was nearly cut short due to a bizarre injury after 1 2/3 innings. He was forced out by the O's bats after 2 2/3.
Filling in for the injured Josh Beckett, Cook retired the first two batters in the second inning before Chris Davis reached base on a single. Wilson Betemit followed suit, moving Davis to third before a passed ball by catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia allowed Davis to score.
But Cook was injured on the play as he slid into home plate knees first in an attempt to tag out Davis, whose cleats spiked Cook in the left leg and left a visibly deep, bleeding gash. Cook left the field temporarily, as manager Bobby Valentine called for Clayton Mortensen out of the bullpen, but Mortensen never reached the pitcher's mound. Cook received treatment in the clubhouse and returned minutes later to record the final out.
But in the third inning, Cook allowed a single to Endy Chavez, threw a wild pitch and walked J.J. Hardy before catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia caught Chavez stealing at third. But Cook then yielded an RBI single to Nick Markakis, a two-run homer to Adam Jones, a double to Matt Wieters and back-to-back singles to Chris Davis and Wilson Betemit before being removed.
Mortensen entered and promptly served up a three-run home run to Mark Reynolds.
Cook was charged with seven runs (six earned) on eight hits, walking one and striking out none.
Cook cruised through the first inning on three ground balls, his bread-and-butter as a sinkerball pitcher.