BOSTON (AP) — Jonny Gomes knew he’d have another chance at the same pitch after looking bad on a pair of sliders. He didn’t miss the next time.
Gomes hit a pinch-hit homer leading off the ninth inning to lift the Boston Red Sox to a 2-1 win over the suddenly offensively challenged San Diego Padres last night.
Gomes lined a 2-2 pitch off Luke Gregerson (4-4) into the first row of seats above the Green Monster for his second game-ending homer of the season.
“That guy throws good sliders like he did the inning before and he did to me,” said Gomes, who swung and missed badly on two that sailed away. “The first three pitches no one was going to hit them. I let one go and then kind of set my sights on getting one up, and got good wood on it.”
Gomes rounded third after his game-ending shot, took his helmet off, held it like a fullback going into the line of scrimmage and was mobbed by his teammates at home plate.
“I just had three swings tonight,” Gomes said, standing in the middle of clubhouse wearing red, white and blue shorts. “Those guys did a lot of work. Whether it’s me or someone else, winning’s fun. It’s contagious.”
Mike Carp had two hits and scored a run for Boston, which is 7-1 on its nine-game homestand that concludes today against the Padres.
“When we get into some of these National League teams, we don’t have a lot of history against their guys coming out of the bullpen,” Boston manager John Farrell said of the move. “In this case, Gomes had faced Gregerson twice and also hit a walkoff against him previous.”
Koji Uehara (2-0) pitched one inning for the win.
Lester went seven innings, allowing six hits, one run, walking one and striking out five. He entered just 2-4 with a 6.98 ERA in his last eight starts.
Buchholz making progress
Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz, on the 15-day disabled list since June 9 with a neck strain, threw from flat ground at about 100 feet. ... ... Manager John Farrell gave Mike Napoli the day off and inserted Mike Carp at first, batting him sixth. “Trying to get a few more left-handed bats in the lineup,” Farrell said. ... Jose Iglesias was named AL rookie of the month for June. Iglesias hit .395 in 25 games. ... The clubs conclude the three-game series this afternoon with Boston rookie Allen Webster (0-2, 9.50 ERA) making his fifth major-league start against San Diego left-hander Eric Stults (6-6, 3.51 ERA).