Final, Red Sox 8-2: Alex Wilson and Craig Breslow finished off the Padres in the ninth inning, and the Red Sox celebrate Independence Day with an 8-2 win.
Boston’s bats provided plenty of fireworks on Thursday, banging out 18 hits to give Allen Webster and Co. all of the run support they needed.
Jacoby Ellsbury led the way with three hits, including a solo home run in the eighth inning. Each Red Sox starter had a hit, and Brandon Snyder was the only starter with less than two hits, although he homered in the second inning.
Allen Webster surrendered just two runs over six innings while earning his first big league win.
The Red Sox finished of their nine-game homestand with an 8-1 record. They’ll now kick off a 10-game West Coast swing before heading into the All-Star break.
Good night, everyone. And happy Fourth of July.
End 8th, Red Sox 8-2: You know Jacoby Ellsbury is locked in when the power shows up.
Ellsbury drilled a solo homer over the bullpens in right field to extend Boston’s lead to 8-2. Ellsbury is now 3-for-4 with three runs scored, continuing what has been a heck of a stretch for the Red Sox’ leadoff man.
Remember, if you’d like to vote Ellsbury and your other favorite Red Sox players into the All-Star Game, you have until 11:59 p.m. ET.
Mid 8th, Red Sox 7-2: The Padres put a couple of runners on against Alex Wilson in the eighth inning, but the right-hander battled to keep San Diego off the scoreboard.
Wilson struck out Chase Headley to begin the inning, but Jesus Guzman was right on an 0-1 fastball. Guzman smoked it down the third base line — just too far out of Brandon Snyder’s reach. It may have actually hit Snyder’s glove, but nevertheless, it ended up down in the left field corner for a double.
Guzman took third when Mark Kotsay grounded out to first base, and the Padres had runners at the corners when Nick Hundley walked. Wilson responded by getting Alexi Amarista to ground out to short.
End 7th, Red Sox 7-2: Jonny Gomes keeps producing.
Gomes dropped a double down the right field line that bounced up into the seats. Unfortunately for the Red Sox, that was their only offense of the seventh inning.
Brandon Snyder and Ryan Lavarnway both struck out swinging, and Jose Iglesias popped out to second base to end the inning.
Gomes, who is 2-for-4, is now hitting .365 (19-for-52) over his last 15 games.
Alex Wilson will pitch the eighth inning for Boston. Daniel Nava is coming in to play right field.
Mid 7th, Red Sox 7-2: John Farrell wants to get Andrew Bailey into some low-leverage situations while he works out his issues. That’s what Bailey faced in the seventh inning, but the right-hander did a very nice job.
Bailey struck out Logan Forsythe and Will Venable to begin the inning. Carlos Quentin flied out down the right-field line to end the inning.
Forsythe went down looking at a cutter, while Venable fanned on a high, 3-2 fastball.
End 6th, Red Sox 7-2: Burch Smith got Mike Napoli to fly out to center field to avoid any further damage.
David Ortiz’s two-run single has given the Red Sox some cushion, though. Ortiz fouled off four pitches during the at-bat before eventually yanking a 3-2 slider into right field.
Andrew Bailey will be the new pitcher for Boston in the seventh inning after six solid frames by Allen Webster.
Webster surrendered two runs on five hits in his six innings of work. He struck out four, walked two and threw 97 pitches (54 strikes).
4:04 p.m., Red Sox 7-2: Tyson Ross was one strike away from a great escape. Instead, David Ortiz padded Boston’s lead.
The Red Sox loaded the bases with no outs in the sixth inning, as Ryan Lavarnway, Jose Iglesias and Jacoby Ellsbury reached via three straight singles. Iglesias’ was a bunt single that third baseman Chase Headley made a nice barehanded play on before delivering a throw that was a tad late.
Ross nearly got out of the inning, as Dustin Pedroia popped out to the left side of the infield and Shane Victorino grounded into a 3-2 forceout. But Ortiz capped a fantastic nine-pitch at-bat with a two-run single into right field.
Burch Smith will be San Diego’s new pitcher.
Mid 6th, Red Sox 5-2: Allen Webster is through six innings. In the sixth, he benefited from an inning-ending double play.
After Nick Hundley struck out swinging, Alexi Amarista connected on a single into right field. Mike Napoli made a diving attempt, but it slipped past him.
Pedro Ciriaco then hit a hot shot to third base. It was right at Brandon Snyder, who caught it before it touched the ground and fired to first to double-up Amarista.
End 5th, Red Sox 5-2: The two teams are starting to trade blows.
Dustin Pedroia began the fifth inning with a single into left field. He tried to move up into scoring position with Mike Napoli hitting two batters later, but he was thrown out trying to steal second. It looked at first as if Pedroia was safe — he certainly thought he was — but replays show that second baseman Logan Forsythe put down a perfect, quick tag.
The Red Sox still managed to score in the inning, though.
Mike Napoli, whose lack of power has become somewhat concerning, drove a ball to the 420-foot marker in the right-center field triangle. The ball kicked up into the seats for a ground-rule double.
Jonny Gomes hit a base hit over the second baseman’s head with two down. Right fielder Will Venable came up firing as third base Brian Butterfield waved Napoli home, but Napoli slid in safely with Boston’s fifth run.
The run was charged to Tyson Ross, who took over for Eric Stults with one out.
Mid 5th, Red Sox 4-2: The Padres aren’t going anywhere.
Jesus Guzman drilled a ball off the left field wall with two outs in the fifth inning to score San Diego’s second run.
This was one instance where the Green Monster probably prevented a home run. Guzman absolutely smoked Allen Webster’s offering, but it was too much of a line drive. Since it didn’t have the height, it plunked about a foot or two below the first row of Monster seats.
Guzman’s wall-ball single plated Will Venable, who doubled with one out after Webster struck out Logan Forsythe to begin the inning.
Chase Headley also walked in the frame, so Guzman’s single set up runners at the corners for Mark Kotsay. Kotsay flied out to left field.
Kotsay also had a bases-loaded opportunity back in the third inning, and he couldn’t drive in a run in that situation either.
End 4th, Red Sox 4-1: The Red Sox added to the runs column in the fourth inning.
Mike Napoli led off the inning with a single into left field. Eric Stults settled down to retire both Jonny Gomes and Brandon Snyder, but Ryan Lavarnway kept the inning alive with a base hit into center field.
Jose Iglesias then came up and hit a sinking liner down the right field line. It kept tailing away from Will Venable, and it eventually dropped and kicked up near the Pesky’s Pole, at which point a group of fans touched it. The ground-rule double plated Napoli with Boston’s fourth run.
Jacoby Ellsbury was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Shane Victorino, but The Flyin’ Hawaiian flied out down the right field line to end the inning.
Mid 4th, Red Sox 3-1: Great bounce-back inning for Allen Webster.
Webster, who was forced to pitch out of a jam in the third inning, breezed through the fourth inning, retiring the side in order.
Nick Hundley popped out, Alexi Amarista flied out and Pedro Ciriaco grounded out. It required just 11 pitches, and that includes a seven-pitch at-bat put on by Hundley.
End 3rd, Red Sox 3-1: The Red Sox squared up some balls in the third inning. It resulted in some loud outs.
In fact, after Jacoby Ellsbury grounded out to third base, the inning’s softest hit ball ended in a single.
Shane Victorino dropped a one-out hit into left field. Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz then smoked line drives to left field and right field, respectively, but they were hit right at guys.
The fourth inning is a big one for Allen Webster. He needs to settle down after a shaky third. Perhaps he can use the big outs he picked up at the tail end of the third frame to generate some momentum on the hill.
Mid 3rd, Red Sox 3-1: The Padres struck for a run in the third inning, but Allen Webster did a nice job of minimizing the damage.
The first three San Diego hitters reached base, beginning with the No. 9 hitter, Pedro Ciriaco. Ciriaco walked on four pitches, Logan Forsythe was hit on the jersey and Will Venable singled into left field.
That created a major jam for Webster, who was forced to face the middle of the Padres’ order with the bags packed and no outs.
Webster got a crucial first out with the powerful Carlos Quentin batting. Quentin lifted a fly ball into shallow left field that Jonny Gomes grabbed on the run.
The second out came when Chase Headley drove a ball to deep left-center field. Jacoby Ellsbury hauled it in, and although it was deep enough to score a run, the Red Sox will gladly trade a run for an out in that situation.
Webster, who was off the mark with his control in the inning, walked Jesus Guzman to reload the bases. But after a mound visit, Webster got Mark Kotsay to ground out to third base to end the inning.
The Padres scored just one run despite having the bases loaded and no outs. Chalk that up as a win for the Red Sox.
End 2nd, Red Sox 3-0: Brandon Snyder has shown some pop.
Snyder, who made his Red Sox debut last Friday, drove in two runs Sunday and three runs Tuesday. He now has his first home run as a member of the Red Sox after going deep in the second inning of this game.
Snyder sent a big, looping, 1-2 curveball into the Red Sox’ bullpen to extend Boston’s lead to 3-0.
Mid 2nd, Red Sox 2-0: Jesus Guzman led off the second inning with a single, but Allen Webster settled right down.
Mark Kotsay and Nick Hundley each flied out following Guzman’s single, and Alexi Amarista grounded out to end the inning.
Webster came off the mound to field Amarista’s little grounder, and he took it himself to record the out.
End 1st, Red Sox 2-0: The Red Sox scored two runs in Wednesday’s win. It took them one inning to reach that total in this game.
Jacoby Ellsbury, who has been red-hot, singled into center field to begin the inning and extend his hit streak to 14 games. Ellsbury now has 22 hits to lead off the first inning this season, which is the most in the American League and second in the majors to Starling Marte’s 25.
Shane Victorino then doubled to left field to put runners at first and second for Dustin Pedroia, who also figures to be part of the All-Star conversation. Pedroia plated the first two runs of the game with a double down into the left field corner.
Pedroia moved up to third base when David Ortiz grounded out to the right side of the second base bag. Pedroia was doubled-up, however, when Mike Napoli drilled a comebacker that Eric Stults snagged and tossed to third.
Mid 1st, 0-0: Allen Webster has had a couple of rocky first innings this season. Not this time around.
Webster issued a one-out walk to Will Venable, but that was the only runner to reach against the rookie.
Webster retired Logan Forsythe and Chase Headley on fly balls to center, and he struck out Carlos Quentin.
Quentin, who had three hits in Wednesday’s game, went down on three pitches. Webster blew a 95-mph heater by him to finish off the K.
1:38 p.m.: Allen Webster’s first pitch is on the outside corner for a strike, and we’re underway on the Fourth of July.
1:26 p.m.: The Red Sox are playing at home on the Fourth of July for the fourth time in the last five years. They’re 89-67 all time on Independence Day, but they’ve lost four straight July 4 games.
1:02 p.m.: Jacoby Ellsbury has really been coming on strong of late. In the process, he has boosted his All-Star candidacy.
Ellsbury is batting .400 (22-for-55) with five doubles and seven RBIs during his season-high 13-game hit streak.
It’s hard to imagine that Ellsbury was struggling so much at one point that John Farrell had to consider moving him down in the lineup. Ellsbury, who leads the majors with 33 stolen bases in 36 attempts, has a hit in 65 games this season. That’s six more than the MLB’s next-most as a leadoff hitter (Brett Gardner has a hit in 59 games).
Ellsbury has hit in 27 of 30 games since May 26. He leads the American League with 50 hits since that date, and he is hitting .382 during that stretch.
If you’d like to vote Ellsbury into this year’s All-Star Game, you’re running out of time. Voting ends Thursday at 11:59 p.m. ET.
12:48 p.m.: In case you missed it, the weekly Red Sox/MLB mailbag has been posted. The topics include a potential Michael Young trade, Daniel Bard’s status and Clay Buchholz’s second half.
12:22 p.m.: John Farrell provided a couple of injury updates before Thursday’s game.
Clay Buchholz will throw from 90 feet Thursday, which will mark his third consecutive day throwing. He’s expected to throw from a little more distance, and he won’t throw on Friday. It sounds like he’s making strides.
Stephen Drew, who is battling a hamstring issue, will run again Thursday. Farrell said that if the shortstop continues to progress, he could be in the lineup on Saturday in Los Angeles.
11:56 a.m.: Ryan Lavarnway will get the start behind the plate on Thursday with the day game after a night game. The rest of the lineups are below.
Red Sox (52-34)
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Shane Victorino, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Napoli, 1B
Jonny Gomes, LF
Brandon Snyder, 3B
Ryan Lavarnway, C
Jose Iglesias, SS
Allen Webster, RHP (0-2, 9.50 ERA)
Logan Forsythe, 2B
Will Venable, RF
Carlos Quentin, LF
Chase Headley, 3B
Jesus Guzman, 1B
Mark Kotsay, DH
Nick Hundley, C
Alexi Amarista, CF
Pedro Ciriaco, SS
Eric Stults, LHP (6-6, 3.51 ERA)
8 a.m. ET: Eight walk-offs and counting.
The Red Sox have had a flair for the dramatic this season, winning 26.7 percent of their home games in walk-off fashion. Jonny Gomes is responsible for two walk-off home runs this year, including one to cap a 2-1 victory over the Padres on Wednesday.
The Red Sox will look to finish off a three-game sweep of the Padres on Thursday before heading out on a 10-game West Coast road trip. They’re 7-1 on the current homestand.
Allen Webster will toe the rubber in an Independence Day clash with left-hander Eric Stults. Webster pitched well his last time out against Toronto, but he didn’t factor in the decision. He’s now 0-2 with a 9.50 ERA through his first four big league starts, although the numbers don’t reflect the strides he has made and the stuff he has exhibited.
The Sox enter Thursday’s matinee tied with 52 wins, which is tied with the Pirates for the most in baseball. No other American League team has more than 49. Will the Fourth of July yield win No. 53? Tune in on NESN, and follow along right here with NESN.com’s live blog to find out.
Thursday’s first pitch is scheduled for 1:35 p.m., so you have a perfect supplement to your Fourth of July festivities.
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