Coming into the bottom of the ninth, Jonny Gomes had a grand total of 34 hits on the year, and his next one would be a doozy. Gomes launched a pinch-hit walk-off home run to end the game against the Padres
Jon Lester pitched well for the Sox, allowing them to reach the ninth relatively unscathed. After a rocky first, in which the Padres had an infield single and a wall ball to score the first run of the game, Lester settled in and mowed down Padres left and right.
The bottom of the first provided some hope the Sox might be in for a blowout. David Ortiz stepped in with runners on second and third with only one out. But Padres’ second baseman, Logan Forsythe snagged Ortiz’s line shot, and quickly stepped on second to wrap up the twin killing.
The tale of two struggling pitchers, Lester and Padres’ starter Edinson Volquez, was seemingly reversed last night as both hurlers turned in strong starts. Volquez escaped leadoff runners in the second and third and surrendered only one run on the night. The Sox’ one run came courtesy of Jarrod Saltalamacchia doubling home Mike Carp in the fourth but that was all that Boston could muster against Volquez.
On the other side of the ball, Jon Lester suddenly remembered how to throw strikes and pitch effectively. Lester gave up few baserunners on the night, and didn’t give the Padres another opportunity to score.
With both teams unable to score runs, the Padres needed only Nick Vincent and Luke Gregerson to waltz through the seventh and eighth, while Junichi Tazawa and Koji Uehara guided the Sox through the eighth and ninth after seven strong from Lester. When Gregerson, a big righty, came back out for the ninth John Farrell called on Gomes, who is notorious for his struggles against right handers. With a 2-2 count, Gregerson reached back and threw a slider that caught the outside part of the plate. Gomes didn’t miss any part of the pitch, launching it effortlessly over the Monster to give the Sox the win.