Getting his last start of the preseason was Aaron Cook, looking to establish himself firmly as first up from the minors in case of a prolonged vacancy in the starting rotation. With his strong performance, he may have done just that. Cook was very much his typical self today, allowing many balls in play, but most of them on the ground. Surrendering just two hits--one a solo shot to Danny Espinosa to lead off the fourth--Cook induced eleven ground balls and earned two strikeouts in five innings of one-run ball.
The Sox would back him up offensively, getting to Washington starter Jordan Zimmerman immediately after Cook had allowed his only run. Hits from Adrian Gonzalez, David Ortiz, Darnell McDonald, and Ryan Sweeney, along with a sacrifice fly from Mike Aviles would bring three runs around, putting the Sox on top by two.
That offense would prove to be enough to last them the whole nine innings, too. Although Matt Albers would surrender a second run to the Nationals, Vicente Padilla, Mark Melancon, and Franklin Morales would prove up to the task of holding them. While the Sox would add a run in the sixth, it would prove unnecessary, with Boston leaving JetBlue Park 4-2 winners.
It's a good note for the Sox to end with, finishing their up-and-down time in Florida with a 5-1-1 run. Hopefully they keep that going up north.