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American League Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, August 1st (All times Eastern)
Detroit Tigers (54-50) at Boston Red Sox (53-51), 7:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Detroit - Rick Porcello (7-6, 4.56) Boston - Aaron Cook (2-4, 4.50)
(Sports Network) - Veteran right-hander Aaron Cook aims for the sweep tonight when the Boston Red Sox close out a three-game series with the visiting Detroit Tigers at Fenway Park.
Boston made it two in a row Tuesday when Carl Crawford capped a four-run fourth inning with an RBI single in a rain-shortened 4-1 triumph.
Pedro Ciriaco and Jacoby Ellsbury were also credited with an RBI each for the Red Sox, who were awarded their fourth straight victory following a rain delay of one hour, 45 minutes.
Josh Beckett was pulled after 2 2/3 innings due to a back issue. Clayton Mortensen (1-0), recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket before the game, recorded eight outs in relief for the win.
"It locked up on me, a little spasm," Beckett said. "I've had this before. I obviously couldn't throw a strike with it."
Franklin Morales was credited with a save despite retiring just one batter and leaving the bases loaded in the top of the sixth before the deluge.
Justin Verlander (11-7) gave up six hits and four runs - three earned - over five full frames for the Tigers, who have dropped six of eight.
The Tigers now trail first-place Chicago by 2 1/2 games in the American League's Central Division.
Cook, who pitched for Colorado from 2002-2011, was signed by the Red Sox as a free agent and is making his eighth start in a season that's also seen him pitch six times at Triple-A Pawtucket.
The 33-year-old debuted with Boston on May 5 and was the loser after allowing seven runs in 2 2/3 innings against the New York Yankees.
Cook was 3-0 with a 2.41 earned run average in six starts for Pawtucket before returning to the majors for a 9-4 defeat of Atlanta on June 24.
He's lost three of four decisions in five starts since, including a 10-3 verdict to New York at Yankee Stadium on July 27, in which he allowed six runs on seven hits in four innings.
In 40 overall innings, Cook has surrendered 25 runs on 41 hits while allowing a .258 opposition batting average.
The Tigers send righty Rick Porcello to the mound in the finale as he searches for his initial career defeat of the Red Sox.
The 23-year-old New Jersey native is 0-2 in three previous meetings while allowing 10 runs and 15 hits in just 8 1/3 innings of work.
Boston batters have hit .395 against him, more than 100 points higher than his career clip of .288 and 86 points higher than his composite 2012 average of .309.
Porcello was an 8-3 loser at Toronto in his most recent start on July 27, which snapped a five-start stretch in which he'd gone 3-0 and lowered his in- season ERA from 4.95 to 4.40.
He's 4-3 in nine road starts this season.
Boston leads the season series, 5-4, even after the Tigers swept the initial three-game get-together in Detroit in April. In five games since, the Red Sox have won five times.
Boston won the series in 2011, five games to one.
08/01 10:28:54 ET