Rapid Reaction: Red Sox 8, Padres 2
July, 4, 2013
By Scott Barboza | ESPNBoston.com
BOSTON -- Hot dogs and hamburgers, the stars and stripes, 90 degrees, sizzling hot bats.
If that isn't the Fourth of July, what is?
The Red Sox finished their pre-All-Star home schedule with an 8-2 win Thursday, sweeping the San Diego Padres while knocking out 18 hits, including two home runs among eight extra-base hits. Rookie righty Allen Webster (1-2) collected his first major league victory, going six innings as the Red Sox pushed their home record to 31-16. The Sox will head out for their 10-game West Coast road trip, leading up to the midsummer hiatus.
The Red Sox (53-34) kicked off the holiday matinee with fireworks, and three straight hits off left-hander Eric Stults in the first. Jacoby Ellsbury extended his season-high hitting streak to 14 games with a leadoff single. Shane Victorino and Dustin Pedroia went back-to-back with doubles to left, with two runs coming around on Pedroia's 24th double of the year.
The bats kept churning in the second with third baseman Brandon Snyder's first home run in a Red Sox uniform, coming on a 1-2 pitch that Snyder snuck over the right-field fence and into the Red Sox bullpen.
They added runs in fourth and fifth. Mike Napoli scored in each of the innings, first on Jose Iglesias' ground-rule double and then on Jonny Gomes' single to right.
David Ortiz became the last Red Sox starter to register a hit on the day with a two-out, two-run single after a nine-pitch battle against Padres reliever Tyson Ross with the bases loaded in the sixth.
Ellsbury (3-for-4, 3 runs, RBI) capped the scoring with a solo home run in the eighth, his second of the season and first since April 7 against Toronto.
PLUS TO THE MINUS: Webster gave up two earned runs despite walking four. He sailed through the first two innings before struggling to find the strike zone in the third. A walk, a hit batsman and a broken-bat single loaded the bases for San Diego with no outs.
The Padres were able to push across only one run in the inning, on a Chase Headley sacrifice fly to center.
Webster's plunking of Logan Forsythe continued a troubling trend for the rookie right-hander, as it was his 13th hit batter of the season in his 15 combined games between Boston and Triple-A Pawtucket.
On a more encouraging note, Webster stranded eight runners, including three in scoring position.
ENCOURAGING SIGNS: A couple of Red Sox who have had their respective struggles in recent weeks showed signs of life on a hot, increasingly muggy day.
Napoli, who had just two extra-base hits in June, put a charge into a fifth-inning double that landed just shy of the 420 marker in the Triangle. It was his first extra-base hit of any kind since June 13 -- a span of 11 games in which Napoli (2-for-5 Thursday) has appeared.
Former closer Andrew Bailey saw his first action out of the bullpen in six days, pitching a clean seventh. He turned in his first 1-2-3 inning since an April 24 outing against his former team, the Oakland Athletics.
Bailey started the inning with consecutive strikeouts -- one looking, one swinging -- before getting Carlos Quentin to fly out to left.