BOSTON (AP) — Jonny Gomes knew he'd have another chance at the same pitch after looking bad on a pair of sliders. He didn't miss the next time.
Gomes hit a pinch-hit homer 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.
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.
"That guy throws good sliders like he did the inning before and he did to me," said Gomes, who swung and missed badly on two that sailed away. "The first three pitches no one was going to hit them. I let one go and then kind of set my sights on getting one up, and got good wood on it."
Gomes rounded third after his game-ending shot, took his helmet off, held it like a fullback going into the line of scrimmage and was mobbed by his teammates at home plate.
"The clubhouse stuff has been talked about more than his play on the field, but he's been great for us," Boston starting pitcher Jon Lester said of the easygoing Gomes.
"I just had three swings tonight," Gomes said, standing in the middle of clubhouse wearing red, white and blue shorts. "Those guys did a lot of work. Whether it's me or someone else, winning's fun. It's contagious."
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.
"When we get into some of these National League teams, we don't have a lot of history against their guys coming out of the bullpen," Boston manager John Farrell said of the move. "In this case, Gomes had faced Gregerson twice and also hit a walkoff against him previous."
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.
"Little bit up in the strike zone. Threw a couple of good ones down that Gomes swung through," Padres manager Bud Black said of the game-winning homer. "I'm sure he tried to execute the same one that he did the previous two for strikes, just left it a little bit up. Gomes was probably looking for it. Gomes has some pull-side power, he can elevate the ball and that's what he did."
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 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.
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