Gomes, Red Sox get 2-1 walk off win over Padres

Gomes, Red Sox get 2-1 walk off win over Padres
July 3, 2013, 10:15 pm
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(AP Images)

BOSTON – Jonny Gomes did it again. Pinch-hitting to lead off the ninth, he drove a 2-and-2 slider from Luke Gregerson into the first row of the Monster seats in left field, giving the Red Sox a 2-1 win over the Padres at Fenway Park Wednesday night. It was the Sox’ eighth walk-off win this season.
 
Gomes has reached base eight times in 16 plate appearances as a pinch-hitter this season, going 5-for-13, with a double, three home runs, four RBI, a walk, getting hit by a pitch twice, and scoring six runs.
 
Jon Lester pitched his best game in almost two months, but was not rewarded with a ‘W’ for his efforts.  He went seven innings, giving up one run on six hits and a walk with five strikeouts, lowering his ERA from 4.61 to 4.41.
 
The Padres scored first, with a run in the first inning. With two outs, Carlos Quentin, Chase Headley, and Kyle Blanks combined for a run on three consecutive singles.
 
The Sox tied the game in the fourth off Padres starter Edinson Volquez when Mike Carp led off with a single, scoring on Jarrod Saltalamacchia’s double to center.
 
Volquez also took a no-decision, going six innings, giving up a run on seven hits, a walk (intentional to David Ortiz), and six strikeouts, with a hit batter.
 
The Sox squandered an opportunity in the eighth, when Dustin Pedroia led off with a double, and Ortiz was issued his second intentional walk, from reliever Nick Vincent. But Luke Gregerson entered, and struck out Daniel Nava and Jarrod Saltalamacchia with a Carp fly out in between.
 
It was the fewest runs Lester has allowed since his complete-game, one-hit shutout on May 10 against the Blue Jays. It was the first quality start he has recorded since June 6, against the Rangers. But, he continues to be plagued with two-out struggles.  He entered the game with an opponents’’ batting average of .293 with two outs, well above other situations -- .232 with no out, .242 with one out. Lester gave up five two-out hits in the game, including a single to Kyle Blanks for the only run Lester allowed.
 
 
Ortiz drew two intentional passes in the game, along with another from reliever Nick Vincent in the eighth. Ortiz entered the game tied for the major league lead with 11 intentional walks.
 
Koji Uehara got the win, improving to 2-0, with a  scoreless ninth.
 
Gregerson took the loss, falling to 4-4.
 

STAR OF THE GAME: Jonny Gomes
Gomes lead off the ninth inning with his sixth home run of the season, giving the Sox a 2-1 walk-off win, their eighth of the season.
 
Although Gomes is batting just .230 this season, he has reached base eight times in 16 plate appearances as a pinch-hitter this season, going 5-for-13, with a double, three home runs, four RBI, a walk, getting hit by a pitch twice, and scoring six runs.
 
 
 
HONORABLE MENTION: Jon Lester
Although he was not involved in the decision, Lester pitched his best game in almost two months. He went seven innings, giving up one run on six hits and a walk with five strikeouts, lowering his ERA from 4.61 to 4.41.
 
It was the fewest runs Lester has allowed since his complete-game, one-hit shutout on May 10 against the Blue Jays. It was the first quality start he has recorded since June 6, against the Rangers.
 
THE GOAT: Luke Gregerson
The Padres reliever took the loss, falling to 4-4 with a 2.78 ERA, giving up Gomes’ lead-off, game-winning home run in the ninth.
 
THE TURNING POINT
Pinch-hitting to lead off the ninth, Gomes drove a 2-and-2 slider from Gregerson into the first row of the Monster seats in left field, giving the Red Sox a 2-1 win, their eighth walk-off win this season.
 
BY THE NUMBERS: 18
The Sox are now 18 games above .500, matching their best mark since they finished the 2011 season 18 games over.
                      
QUOTE OF NOTE

“I did. I knew I hit it far enough but that green wall can be tricky sometimes. So I just hoped I had enough air under it to get out.” Jonny Gomes, if he knew his ninth-inning hit would be a home run.