SAN DIEGO -- Drew Pomeranz returned to Petco Park for the first time since representing the Padres in the All-Star Game. But his former teammate, Edwin Jackson, was the one who pitched like an All-Star in this Labor Day matinee Monday, firing a gem that led the Padres to a 2-1 victory over the Red Sox.
Thanks to Jackson's brilliance, which included 11 strikeouts and no runs allowed in seven innings, the Red Sox were denied in their quest to tie the Blue Jays for first place in the American League East. Boston still holds the top Wild Card spot by one game over Baltimore.
"They pitched good," said Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia. "It's baseball. They made good pitches, and we didn't score. This isn't a video game. We're trying to grind out at-bats and have good at-bats. Sometimes you can't get the big hit."
Pomeranz was effective in his return to San Diego, allowing six hits and two runs over 5 2/3 innings, walking two and striking out five while taking the loss.
"I had the most adrenaline last time I was here in the All-Star Game, so I'm just out there trying to get outs," Pomeranz said. "It doesn't really matter what park I'm at at this point. I'm just trying to give us a chance to win."
A two-run homer by Adam Rosales in the fourth inning against Pomeranz proved to be the difference in the game. The Red Sox finally got on the board in the eighth when pinch-hitter Chris Young smoked a solo homer against lefty reliever Brad Hand.
"I didn't even think that was going out, like when I hit it off the bat, I didn't even think it was going," Rosales said of his ninth homer of the season. "That's Major League Baseball, right? You make one mistake like that and it's the difference of a ballgame."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Young's birthday blast: The Red Sox had gone 16 straight innings without a run before Young provided a jolt in the top of the eighth with that solo rocket. The home run came on Young's 33rd birthday and it was the first pinch-hit longball by the Red Sox since Jonny Gomes on July 18, 2014.
"It was cool. I had a lot of family in town, a lot of family at the game. It was pretty special for that reason," said Young. "It was the first one on my birthday. It's definitely one I'll remember."
Bring on the bunts:Travis Jankowski led off the game for the Padres with a bunt single down the first base line, and then did the exact same thing in his next at-bat in the bottom of the third inning. Padres manager Andy Green has talked about how Jankowski could use that as a weapon if he developed the skill, and Jankowski has now bunted for a hit four times in the last two games. He later added his 30th stolen base.
"Last two games, he's been on base four times bunting," Green said. "It was something we talked about before the game today. Called him in the office, talked about Drew Pomeranz and what was there against him. And showed him where to go with it and he went up there and executed it perfectly twice. It's a really tough play to defend for a left-handed pitcher -- especially the way Travis runs."
Red Sox squander two opportunities: With two on and nobody out to start the seventh, it seemed the Red Sox were finally going to produce the rally that had been so elusive against Jackson. But give the righty credit. He induced Jackie Bradley Jr. into a 4-6-3 double play and then struck out Yoan Moncada to keep the lead intact.
In the eighth, after Young's homer, Aaron Hill was on second with nobody out and advanced to third with one out but Boston couldn't get him in. Pinch-hitter Sandy Leon struck out on a pitch that hit him on the left leg. Xander Bogaerts struck out to end the threat. More >>
Edwin JacKson: The 32-year-old righty had no trouble maneuvering through MLB's top offense, throwing seven shutout innings while limiting Boston to just four hits. Jackson also struck out 11 batters, which is the most he's had in a game since May 17, 2014, and the most of any San Diego pitcher this season. Pomeranz was the only other San Diego starter to tally 10 or more strikeouts prior to this.
"He followed the game plan that was drawn out for him today to a tee," Green said. "It was perfect execution from him, and Derek Norris did a great job working through that. He gave us seven really strong innings. That double play ball to Bradley in the seventh was huge too." More >>
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Prior to Sunday, Adam Eaton and Leonys Martin were the only players in baseball with multiple bunt hits in a game. After getting two Monday vs. Pomeranz, Jankowski has accomplished the feat in back-to-back games.
This was the second time this season the Red Sox have gone 16 innings without scoring. They did it last on July 30-31.
WHAT'S NEXT Red Sox:Clay Buchholz moves back into the rotation again, as knuckleballer Steven Wright continues to experience soreness in his right shoulder. Buchholz was impressive last time he started on Aug. 23, holding the Rays to five hits and a run while striking out nine over 6 1/3 innings.
Padres:Paul Clemens takes the mound in the second game of this series, hoping to put his three-inning start against Atlanta last Wednesday behind him. Clemens has found success throwing his curveball more with San Diego -- he is throwing that pitch more than 30 percent of the time, compared to 19 percent with Miami -- but is looking to implement a changeup more to diversify his pitch-mix..