BOSTON — Pinch-hitter Jonny Gomes homered leading off the ninth inning to lift the Boston Red Sox to a 2-1 win over the suddenly offensively challenged San Diego Padres on Wednesday night.
Mike Carp had two hits and scored a run for Boston, which is 7-1 on its nine-game homestand that concludes Thursday against the Padres.
Carlos Quentin went 3 for 4 with a double and two singles for the Padres. San Diego has scored just five runs in its five-game losing streak.
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.
Koji Uehara (2-0) pitched one inning for the win.
The Red Sox squandered a good chance in the eighth. Dustin Pedroia led off with a double off the Green Monster against Nick Vincent. After David Ortiz was intentionally walked for the second time, Gregerson relieved and retired the next three batters, striking out Daniel Nava and Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
San Diego starter Edinson Volquez pitched six innings on his 30th birthday, giving up one run on seven hits, striking out six with one intentional walk.
Boston’s Jon Lester had a similar line over seven, 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.
Lester labored in the first, throwing 32 pitches and giving up a run. Plate umpire Doug Eddings called time just as Lester was starting to throw a pitch to Quentin. It hit him on the left foot, but was waved off. Quentin then proceeded to have a 10-pitch at-bat, reaching on an infield single. He advanced on Chase Headley’s single and scored on Kyle Blanks’ single to center.
Boston tied it 1-1 when Carp singled leading off the fourth and scored when left fielder Quentin misplayed a carom off the Green Monster on Saltalamacchia’s double.
Lester settled down after the first, retiring the Padres in order on just five pitches in the second. He gave up a hit, but needed only 12 in the third.
Volquez struck out the side in the second after allowing Carp’s leadoff single.
Both dugouts were warned by Eddings after Volquez hit Jose Iglesias with the first pitch in the third inning.
NOTES: Red Sox RHP Clay Buchholz, on the 15-day since June 9 with a neck strain, threw from flat ground at about 100 feet. He was excited to get back to throwing for the second straight day. “I’ve been anxious for a while,” he said, still sweating from the workout in front of his locker about three hours before the game. “Today was more intense. Probably the most intense.” Buchholz was 9-0 with a 1.71 ERA before the injury. … The Padres made a lineup change about three hours before the game, moving Quentin from DH to left field and Blanks from left to DH. … Red Sox manager gave 1B Mike Napoli a rest and inserted Carp at first, batting him sixth. “Trying to get a few more left-handed bats in the lineup,” Farrell said. … Quentin was 0 for 11 in his career against Lester. … Boston SS Iglesias was named AL rookie of the month for June, the first Red Sox player to win it since Jacoby Ellsbury did it in Sept. 2007. Iglesias hit .395 in 25 games. … Game time temperature was 87 degrees with a steamy feeling in Fenway. … The clubs conclude the three-game series Thursday 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).