Boston’s Dustin Pedroia slams a single during the fifth inning of a victory over the San Diego Padres at Fenway Park on Thursday.
BOSTON — Dustin Pedroia hit a two-run double, David Ortiz had a two-run single and the Boston Red Sox wrapped up a big homestand by beating San Diego 8-2 Thursday, sending the Padres to their season-high sixth straight loss.
Brandon Snyder and Jacoby Ellsbury each had solo homers for the Red Sox. Boston went 8-1 at Fenway Park to match its best homestand since June 2010.
The Red Sox also won for the 12th time in their last 14 games at home.
Allen Webster (1-2) pitched six innings for his first major league win, allowing two runs and five hits, while walking four and striking out two.
The Padres have scored just seven runs in their losing streak. They also lost for the 10th time in 12 games.
The Red Sox open a three-city, 10-game West Coast trip Friday night in Anaheim against the Angels.
Eric Stults (6-7) gave up four runs and nine hits over 4 1-3 innings without walking or striking out a batter. He was tagged for seven runs — six earned — in 3 2-3 innings in his previous start Saturday in a loss at Miami after giving up two runs or less in his previous six.
Sitting in his uncomfortably warm office about two hours before the game, Padres manager Bud Black praised the play of Pedroia. It didn’t take long for the Red Sox second baseman to make him look good.
“Pedroia might be the MVP of the league so far. I think you can make a case for it,” Black said.
Pedroia’s two-run double in the first moved Boston ahead 2-0. Ellsbury singled leading off to extend his season-high hitting streak to 14 games and Shane Victorino doubled off the Green Monster before Pedroia doubled into the left-field corner.
In the second, Snyder homered into Boston’s bullpen to make it 3-0. Ortiz’s bases-loaded, two-run single off reliever Tyson Ross in the sixth gave the Red Sox a comfortable 7-2 lead.
Ellsbury homered over the bullpens to make it 8-2.
Chase Headley’s sacrifice fly had cut it to 3-1 in the third before Jose Iglesias’ run-scoring, ground-rule double pushed Boston’s lead back to three an inning later.
The Padres sliced it to 4-2 in the fifth on Jesus Guzman’s single high off the left-field wall — when he missed a homer by a couple of feet — but Webster got Mark Kotsay to line to left, ending the inning with two runners on.
Jonny Gomes’ RBI single made it 5-2.
Yankees 9, Twins 5
MINNEAPOLIS — Vernon Wells drove in three runs, and the New York Yankees pounded rookie Kyle Gibson and the Minnesota Twins 9-5 on Thursday to finish a four-game sweep.
Travis Hafner had three hits and scored twice, and Ichiro Suzuki had a two-run triple among his three hits for the Yankees, who scored 29 runs in the series.
The Yankees didn’t even need their usual super-sized contribution from Robinson Cano, whose streak of six straight multihit games ended without reaching base. He still batted .500 on this seven-game road trip with 11 RBIs.
Justin Morneau homered twice for the Twins, one-third of his season total. But Gibson (1-1) gave up 11 hits, a walk, a hit by pitch and eight runs in 5 1-3 innings with two strikeouts in his second start.
David Phelps (6-5) surrendered Morneau’s first homer and three more runs in the seventh, when he left with one out. RBI singles by Pedro Florimon and Brian Dozier and a sacrifice fly by Joe Mauer helped the Twins catch up in that inning, and Morneau went deep again in the eighth.
Phelps gave up eight hits and four runs, but he struck out five without a walk.
Zoilo Almonte and Alberto Gonzalez also drove in runs for the Yankees.
Phelps had a decent June until his final start of the month, when Baltimore beat him up for a season-most nine runs in 2 1-3 innings last Saturday. Swept by the Orioles in that series, the banged-up Yankees brought a five-game losing streak to Target Field, where their woes were quickly forgotten against their longtime punching bag.
Since the start of 2002, including the postseason, the Yankees are 71-23 against Minnesota.
Gibson’s debut last weekend matched the anticipation of the 2009 first-round draft pick built up in the fan base, a winning performance with six sharp innings and two runs allowed. This time, he was behind 3-0 after just his 17th pitch.
The first five batters produced two singles, two doubles and a soaring sacrifice fly by Cano that Oswaldo Arcia caught at the wall in left field. The next batter, Wells, hit a two-run single.
The game, though, was essentially decided in the third inning.
Gibson hit Hafner with a pitch and let him move up on a wild pitch. Then Wells sneaked a low-arc pop-up in the space between Arcia and the infield, just right for Hafner to score, Arcia to miss a sliding catch by a few inches and Wells to get a double. Luis Cruz followed with an RBI single, his first hit for the Yankees, to stretch the lead to 5-0.
Then in the bottom of the inning, the Twins found more bad breaks indicative of a slumping team.
After consecutive singles to start for the Twins, Brian Dozier’s bunt rolled perfectly down the third-base line where no play was possible. But it strayed a bit too far, across the chalk, and Dozier was summoned back to the box.
Then he grounded into a double play, thanks to a slick running pickup and same-motion, sidearm toss by the shortstop Cruz to Cano at second base to start the process. Mauer struck out looking next on a pitch the catcher believed was low, in disagreement with home plate umpire Ed Hickox.
Mauer was called out on strikes in his next at-bat, too, and he had more words for Hickox on his way back to the dugout.
Nats 8, Brewers 5
WASHINGTON — Wilson Ramos hit a go-ahead, three-run homer in the seventh inning Thursday in his Fourth of July return to the Washington Nationals, leading an 8-5 matinee win over the Milwaukee Brewers.
Back after missing 44 games with a strained left hamstring, Ramos had three hits and a career-high five RBIs as the Nationals earned a split of the four-game series and moved back above .500 in their seesaw season.
Ian Desmond, moved to the No. 2 spot in a lineup “epiphany” from manager Davey Johnson, had three hits, stole two bases and scored two runs. Taylor Jordan allowed two runs over 5 2-3 innings in his second major league start, and Drew Storen (3-2) got the win despite blowing a 5-2 lead by allowing two home runs in the seventh inning.
Ramos and the Nationals quickly bailed out Storen with a two-out rally. Jayson Werth, bumped to No. 6 in the lineup, singled off Tom Gorzelanny (1-1). Manager Ron Roenicke then brought in Brandon Kintzler to face Anthony Rendon in a righty-righty matchup.
The move backfired. Kintzler walked Rendon, then had a 1-0 slider put in the left field stands by Ramos, who gave the fans a curtain call.
Rafael Soriano pitched the ninth for his 22nd save.
Royals 10, Indians 7
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Lorenzo Cain hit his first career grand slam, Salvador Perez provided a bases-loaded double in the eighth inning and the Kansas City Royals rallied for a 10-7 victory over the Cleveland Indians on a sun-splashed Thursday afternoon.
The Royals trailed 5-0 early before Cain’s slam and a solo shot by George Kottaras tied it in the sixth. The Indians regained the lead on Carlos Santana’s two-run double in the seventh, but the Royals answered in the bottom half on a two-run homer by Eric Hosmer.
Indians reliever Bryan Shaw (0-2) walked Kottaras to lead off the eighth and then hit Johnny Giavotella. Shaw was lifted for Rich Hill, who promptly walked Jarrod Dyson to load the bases.
Perez entered the game as a pinch-hitter and roped a double down the left-field line.
Phillies 6, Pirates 4
PITTSBURGH — Major league loss leader Cole Hamels pitched seven strong innings, Carlos Ruiz hit a tiebreaking single and the Philadelphia Phillies beat Gerrit Cole and the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-4 Thursday.
Hamels (3-11) gave up one earned run and five hits, striking out eight without a walk. The former World Series MVP won for the first time since June 5.
Cole (4-1) lost for the first time in the majors after becoming the first Pirates’ pitcher to win his first four career starts since Nick Maddox in 1907. Cole allowed three runs and eight hits in 5 1-3 innings.
Hamels received some rare support as the Phillies have scored just 22 runs in his 11 losses.
Ben Revere had three of the Phillies’ 13 hits and two RBIs. Ruiz, Jimmy Rollins and Delmon Young each had two hits.MORE IN Sports WireThe Kentucky Derby routinely attracts a full field of 20 horses, even though half or more of them... Full Story
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